By Cindy Martellini, Claims Manager, Municipal Association's Risk Management Services
Hurricane season begins every year on June 1 and ends on November 30, and we are fast approaching the peak hurricane season for the East Coast.
If a major hurricane makes landfall, there will be damage, no doubt. The good news is technological advances now make it possible for forecasters to provide warnings of a potential landfall through modern hurricane forecasting tools.
Pre-landfall preparation will decrease the impact of a major storm and might prevent damage altogether following a minor hurricane.
- Secure all outside items such as chairs, planters, trash cans, pallets, and signage. High winds can result in unsecured items becoming flying objects that can sustain or cause damage.
- Secure windows and doors. Removable awnings can be put away to prevent damage. Move interior items away from areas with known roof leaks.
- Move property or contents in low-lying areas.
- Move important paperwork, computers and equipment, and other items to a safe location. Cover computers, files, and other electronic equipment and move these items away from windows and from the floor. Unplug electrical equipment and appliances.
- Contact the SC Municipal Insurance Risk and Financing Fund or your insurance carrier as soon as possible after landfall to submit claims even if you don't know the extent of the loss.
- Secure any damaged property after a loss to prevent further loss. If property must be disposed of, document the loss by photographs and lists.
- Download the SC Emergency Management Division’s Hurricane Guide to help prepare your city.
With a little luck and some advance preparation, South Carolina cities and towns have a good chance of reaching the end of hurricane season with as little storm damage as possible!