Amica Advises: Prepare Now for "Above-Average" Hurricane Season

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National Hurricane Preparedness Week starts Sunday, so Amica Insurance reminds everyone that now is the time to prepare for what NOAA predicts will be an "above-average" hurricane season.

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Amica wants to remind everyone that being prepared for a hurricane is one of the most important things each of us can do. And National Hurricane Preparedness Week is the best time to make sure you're ready for any storm.

National Hurricane Preparedness Week starts Sunday, so Amica Insurance wants to remind everyone that now is the time to:

  •     Prepare an emergency supply kit and stock up on non-perishable food and water.
  •     Create an evacuation plan, including ways to let your family know you’re safe after a storm.
  •     Compile a list of emergency numbers, including those of family members, friends and neighbors.
  •     Make arrangements for your pets, especially if you may have to evacuate during a storm.
  •     Plan home improvement projects that will make your home more resistant to storm damage.
  •     Review your insurance policy to see if you're covered for flooding or other storm-related damage.
  •     Prepare an inventory of your belongings, in case you need to file a claim.

“Hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, so it’s important to start preparing now – long before the first storm strikes,” said Ted Murphy, superintendent of claims for Amica Mutual Insurance Company.

Most hurricanes occur in late summer and early fall, but a major storm could strike at any time, Murphy said. In fact, forecasters are already predicting “well above-average activity” this season, with an “above-average” chance of a major hurricane striking the United States or Caribbean at some point this year.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting 12 to 18 “named” storms with winds of 39 mph or higher, of which as many as 10 could become hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or higher, including three to six “major hurricanes” with winds of at least 111 mph.

“The United States was fortunate last year. Winds steered most of the season’s tropical storms and all hurricanes away from our coastlines,” according to Jane Lubchenco, NOAA’s administrator, in a statement on the agency’s website. “However we can’t count on luck to get us through this season. We need to be prepared, especially with this above-normal outlook.”

Murphy agreed. “Given NOAA’s predictions,” he said, “it’s more important than ever to make sure you’ve taken steps to protect yourself, your family and your home, as best you can.”

The Amica Storm Center at http://www.amica.com/stormcenter is full of information to make sure you know what to do to protect your loved ones, your home and your pets during any storm. It includes dozens of tips and checklists for actions to take before, during and after a hurricane and other severe storms. Amica’s new mobile app also has a handy home inventory feature that anyone can use to create an inventory of his or her belongings.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also offers tips at http://www.ready.gov. And, for more information on the upcoming hurricane season, visit the National Hurricane Center’s website at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov.

"Amica wants to remind everyone that being prepared for a hurricane is one of the most important things each of us can do," Murphy said. "And National Hurricane Preparedness Week is the best time to make sure you're ready for any storm."

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Vince Burks