Greetings, friends and neighbors,

With the arrival of June comes the start of another hurricane season. For us, in the coastal regions of the Gulf, specifically in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, and Texas, this is a time to take stock, plan, and prepare.

I’m Dan Burghardt, and over the years, I’ve seen first-hand the devastating effects hurricanes can have. But I’ve also seen the power of preparation and the resilience of our communities. Today, I want to share some thoughts and advice on getting ready for this hurricane season.

First, let’s talk about the importance of having a comprehensive emergency plan. A good plan includes several key elements. You need an evacuation strategy – know where you’re going, how you’ll get there, and what you’ll bring with you. Prepare an emergency supply kit – having essentials on hand like water, food, medications, and important documents can make a huge difference in an emergency.

But preparing for a hurricane isn’t just about these immediate measures. A significant part of your readiness strategy should be focused on your home and its capacity to withstand a storm. This includes ensuring your house is storm-ready – reinforcing doors, windows, and roofs, clearing out potential flying debris from your yard, and checking your home’s drainage systems.

Everyone should also record their possessions with video or photo documentation. Doing so will provide a complete inventory of serial numbers, model numbers, and other specific information that will help file a claim. Your home is filled with personal treasures and expensive items, and it’s important to keep track of all of them for your homeowners, renters, or condo insurance coverage. Having to remember every single item in your home after a loss is nearly impossible. A list is a good place to start but a home inventory video can serve as a valuable visual record in case you need to file a claim. In preparing for hurricane season, there’s strength in numbers. Communities are encouraged to assist each other in their preparations – from reinforcing homes and sharing resources to devising a community response to potential emergencies. The process is a collective effort that underscores the spirit of resilience and unity

Now, let’s discuss an aspect that can often be overlooked until it’s too late: understanding your insurance coverage. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with your policy’s details – know what’s covered, what isn’t, and consider whether you need additional protection. Remember, typical homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover flooding, and there can be a 30-day waiting period for new flood insurance policies to take effect. Don’t wait until a storm is bearing down to consider whether you have the right coverage.

The financial implications of a hurricane can be overwhelming. The 2023 hurricane season is predicted to be an active one, with an above-average number of named storms. Therefore, financial readiness for possible damage repairs or rebuilding is as vital as physical preparedness.

Being informed is another crucial part of hurricane readiness. Keep an eye on the news, understand the difference between a hurricane watch and warning, and heed the advice of local authorities. By staying informed, you empower yourself to make the best decisions possible in a potentially dangerous situation.

Lastly, remember that hurricane preparedness is a community effort. We can help each other reinforce homes, share resources, and offer support. As we’ve seen time and time again, the worst of times often brings out the best in people.

As we navigate the 2023 hurricane season, my hope is that we approach it with a spirit of preparedness, resilience, and camaraderie. These storms are formidable, but together, we are stronger. Let’s commit to not only weathering the storm but rising above it.

Stay safe,
Dan Burghardt

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