As Hurricane Irene approached our area, we posted important announcements for you on our website and Facebook page. Rossmann-Hurt-Hoffman put detailed disaster plan in place, so even in the event we suffer a loss, you will still be able to reach us for assistance. We are here for YOU!
Here are some steps you can take to stay safe.
Preparing Your Family
• Check your disaster supplies and replace or restock items as needed.
• Talk with members of your family and create an evacuation plan.
• Make sure you know where the closest local shelter is located.
• Put together an Emergency Supply Kit that includes the following:
– Water-at least a 3-day supply; one gallon per person per day.
– Food-at least a 3-day supply of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare
   non-perishable foods such as cereal or crackers, and canned goods. 
– Can opener
– Flashlights and extra batteries (Count on the power being out for at least a
   day or two)
– Battery-powered or hand-crank radio,
– First aid kit,
– Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with
   extra batteries,
– glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane),
– Sanitation and personal hygiene items including toilet paper
– Cell phone with charger,
– Extra cash (remember that ATM’s will be non-operating),
– Emergency blankets,
– Map(s) of the area,
– If needed, baby (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers) and pet
   supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl),
– Extra set of car keys and house keys,
– Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes,
– Rain gear.
– If you have children – computer games will operate for only a limited amount
   of time. Consider packing board games, a deck of cards, arts and crafts
   supplies and crayons.
If you need to leave your home be careful to avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges.

Preparing Your Home
• Bring in or secure anything that can be picked up by the wind (bicycles, lawn furniture).
• Close your windows and doors. If needed or advised to do so, windows and doors can be boarded up with plywood.
• Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep them closed as much as possible so that food will last longer if the power goes out.
• Turn off all propane tanks
• Fill your car’s gas tank.

General Safety Information
• Drive only if necessary
• Keep far away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
• Stay out of any building that has water around it.
• Use flashlights in the dark, avoid using candles.
• Before preparing food or drinking tap water make sure it is not contaminated.
• Watch animals closely and keep them under your direct control.
• Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
Preparing your business
Consider taking the following precautions to help protect people and property and guard against disruption of operations:
• Review your business continuity plan and communicate emergency evacuation and business interruption instructions to employees. If you don’t have a written plan, now is the time to create one. Each business should have an emergency plan including a detailed procedure for evacuation, a checklist for shutting down processes and protecting buildings, contents, equipment, and yard storage. Procedures should include salvage instructions to follow post-event.
• Back up critical data and computer records off-site so that operations can continue after a disaster. Consider keeping a backup generator and plenty of batteries on hand so your business can continue to operate after a power loss.
• As a hurricane approaches, quick actions should to be taken to install temporary protection features including:  
–  Shutter or board up windows to protect them from flying debris

–  Clean out floor drains and catch basins to ensure maximum drainage
–  Anchor structures, trailers and yard storage so they are more likely to stay
    put during high winds
–  Fill emergency generator and fire pump fuel tanks
–  Shut down production processes safely
–  Shut off all flammable and combustible liquid and gas lines at their source
–  Shut off electrical power at the main building disconnect before the 
    hurricane strikes.
• Once the storm has subsided and it is safe to return, a salvage team should be assembled and repair work prioritized, assuring proper supplies are available and safety procedures followed.

These and other tips on how to stay safe during hurricanes and other natural disasters are available on the FEMA website. There is no harm in being overly cautious.  Please be safe!

Posted in: Disaster Preparedness, Homeowners Insurance, Hurricane Preparedness, Maryland Insurance, rhh insurance