AAA: More Floridians are preparing for hurricane season


Back-to-back active hurricane seasons in 2016 and 2017 seem to have been a wakeup call for Florida residents. According to a recent AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey, 81 percent of residents are making advanced preparations for hurricane season, which is a 23 percent increase from 2016.

Based on AAA findings, if a named storm were to cause an evacuation, the majority of Floridians would heed official warning and leave their homes. However, of those who would evacuate, more than half (62 percent) say they would only leave for a category three hurricane or greater.

“Major hurricanes like Harvey and Irma seem to be making residents more aware of the dangers of hurricane season and the need to make advanced preparations,” said Bobby Futch, vice president of Insurance Claims, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Storm preparations should include having a storm kit, evacuation plan, and proper insurance coverage, which includes flood insurance.”

Here are a few tips from AAA to keep in mind this hurricane season:

·         Secure your home – Inspect your home for minor repairs needed to roof, windows, down spouts, etc. Trim trees or bushes that could cause damage to your home in case of high winds.

·         Make a plan – One-third of Floridians DO NOT have an emergency plan in place in the event of a natural disaster. Develop a family emergency plan to include ways to contact each other, alternative meeting locations and an out-of-town contact person. Identify a safe room or safest areas in your home. Research your evacuation route. Be sure and include plans for your pets.

·         Take inventory – Update your home inventory by walking through your home with a video camera or smart phone. Keep a record of large purchases including the cost of the item, when purchased and model and serial numbers as available.

·         Stock emergency supplies – Plan for a week's worth of non-perishable food and water. Be sure and have flashlights, extra batteries, battery-powered radio, medications, first aid kit, blankets, toiletries, diapers, etc. You may also want to prepare a portable kit and keep in your car should you evacuate.

·         Protect your property –  Review your homeowner’s insurance with your insurance agent to determine if you have adequate protection. Discuss your deductibles. Be aware that flood insurance is not typically covered under your homeowner’s policy. Flooding to your automobile is available under the physical damage coverage.