The 2016 hurricane season officially starts June 1, and the forecast calls for 12 named storms, five hurricanes, and two major hurricanes. If the spring storms that crippled the Houston (TX) region are any indication of Mother Nature’s volatility, we can only hope for the best and plan for the worst. Now is the time for all property owners to know their flood risk and to ensure that their real estate assets are adequately protected.
The Two Sides of Flood Risk
Technically, every property throughout the country is in a flood zone, but not all flood risk is equal. Residential and commercial property owners at high risk of flooding who don’t have flood insurance or who don’t implement mitigation measures, take a dangerous gamble. On the other hand, there are property owners who are subject to high-risk National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements, when, in fact, their properties should be classified as low flood risk. Either way, a flood risk evaluation is a proactive measure to reduce damage, eliminate unwarranted expenses, and improve the value of the property. Don’t wait for a 2016 Hurricane warning.
Prepare for the 2016 Hurricane Season
As the nation gears up for what forecasters predict to be a near-average activity hurricane season, take a moment to review the following tips and resources to keep homes, businesses and loved ones safe.
- Be aware of flood control systems and structures in your community. Don’t be embarrassed to call City Hall or the appropriate municipal department to ask about the maintenance and operational status of floodgates, flood barriers, levees, dams, dikes, and seawalls.
- Check the drainage around your property. Ensure that water has a path to flow away from structures and into a swale or street drain.
- Keep storm drains clear of trash and landscaping debris. When drainage systems are compromised, water has nowhere to go but up, resulting in street, lawn and possible building flooding. Even low-risk buildings that were built responsibly to protect against flooding become high risk when drainage systems are clogged or blocked.
- Be sure that proposed enclosures or other alterations meet with local floodplain regulations. Before enclosing nonliving areas of a building or home, a property owner should meet with local building officials to ensure that the proposed enclosure will be safe from flooding. Patios, garages, balconies, and other nonliving areas are not designed to protect against flooding as much as planned living areas.
- If you own or operate a business, an asset management system will help you weather the aftermath of a storm and ensure that you have detailed and accurate information when filing a claim. Read the previous AFSI blog post: Storm Season Readiness: Asset Management.
The following downloads are courtesy of PrepareMyBusiness, a cooperative SBA and Agility Recovery Solutions campaign to encourage all small businesses to have a recovery plan in place.
The 72 Hour Rule for Businesses featuring former FEMA Administrator, Chief David Paulison:
AT&T offers tech tips to help you plan for communication during severe weather. Below is a brief summary and for more information, visit this AT&T link.
- Keep your wireless phone batteries charged at all times.
- Keep your wireless phone dry.
- Have a family communications plan in place.
- Program all of your emergency contact numbers and e-mail addresses into your mobile phone.
- Forward your home number to your wireless number in the event of evacuating your home.
- Track local news and weather information on your wireless device.
- Camera phones provide assistance. If you have a camera phone, take, store and send photos — even video clips — of damaged property to your insurance company from your device.
- Try text messaging. During an emergency situation, text messages may go through more quickly than voice calls because they require fewer network resources.
- Take advantage of location-based mapping technology.
- Keep non-emergency calls to a minimum, and limit your calls to the most important ones.
Are you ready for the 2016 Hurricane Season? Take a proactive step to protect your home or business. Submit your property for a complimentary flood risk evaluation today.