June 1 is the beginning of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Hurricane season has a special significance here in the Gulf South, and as part of our commitment to our customers and communities, we want to help you be informed and prepared before the storm clouds gather.
It Pays To Be Prepared
These tips from the National Weather Service1 will help you get ready for a potential land-falling tropical storm or hurricane:
1. Determine your risk for wind and water hazards, and prepare for how you will handle them. Hurricanes are not just a coastal problem; their impacts can be felt many miles inland. Storms such as Sandy and Isaac serve as reminders that major damage and disruption can be inflicted by Category 1 or 2 hurricanes.
2. If you live in a hurricane evacuation zone, you should determine where you would go and how you’d get there if an evacuation order is issued. Be sure to account for your pets, as many local shelters do not permit them. Put your evacuation plan in writing and share it with family members, neighbors and others you care about. It's also a good idea to enroll in online and mobile banking so you'll be able to manage your money while you're away.
3. Get an insurance check-up to ensure you have enough coverage to repair or replace your home. Don’t forget coverage for your car or boat. And remember that standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding. Whether you’re a homeowner or renter, you’ll need a separate policy that can be obtained through your company or the National Flood Insurance Program at www.floodsmart.gov. Act now, as flood insurance requires a 30-day waiting period before the policy goes into effect.
4. Besides the customary items for your disaster supply kit, (one-week supply of non-perishable food and water, cash, flashlight, batteries, first aid kit, 30-day supply of prescription medications) here are some additional items to consider2:
• Portable, crank or solar-powered USB charger for your cell phone
• Garbage bags
• Moist towelettes or wipes
• Manual can opener
• Lighter or matches
• Fire extinguisher
• Dust mask
• Basic tool kit
• At least one change of clothes, and a sturdy pair of shoes or work boots
5. Regardless of whether you plan to evacuate or ride out a storm at home, make sure your house is in good repair and up to local hurricane building code specifications. Shop now for tested and approved window coverings, and check the security of all the doors on your house, especially your garage door, which is usually the most vulnerable to high winds.
Don’t wait until a hurricane is at your doorstep; make your plan and gather supplies now. Advance preparation, before a hurricane threatens, will make you more resilient to its impacts. You can rest assured that Hancock and Whitney Bank are prepared to weather any storms that might come our way. We’re here to help before and after disaster strikes.
Visit Ready.gov for more preparation tips and resources, and subscribe to Insights using the form below so you won't miss our upcoming blogs that will help you prepare your family and business finances for storm season.
1“Hurricane Preparedness Week: May 15 – 21, 2016” National Weather Service,
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/hurricane_preparedness.html, accessed May 19, 2016.
2”What To Put in a DIY Disaster Preparedness Kit,” ApartmentTherapy.com,
http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/diy-disaster-preparedness-kit-141425, accessed May 19, 2016.
Whitney Bank uses these trade names: Hancock, Hancock Bank and Whitney.
Whitney Bank, Member FDIC.