Hurricane Thoughts: From a Personal and Professional Perspective

As a Wilmington native, longtime resident of Wrightsville Beach — and an insurance agent — I have experienced and helped countless others contend with hurricanes. Now that the 2019 hurricane season is underway, here are some thoughts I hope you’ll take to heart.

The next hurricane will never be exactly like any other. I’ve always said that, but now I also say the next storm will not only be different, but it could be worse than anything we have imagined.

The possibility of our next hurricane being a Category 5 is higher than ever. Hurricanes reaching North Carolina lose most of their energy due to cooler waters at this latitude. With global warming, this cushion is disappearing. Experts believe there is enough energy in our ocean to easily support a Category 5 storm.

Life before property. In the past, almost all our focus in preparing for hurricane season has been on protection of property. I’m now suggesting we spend as much or more time preparing for our physical safety.

Plan to evacuate. Think about how far you might travel and where you will stay. If you have elderly family members or close friends who might need help, consider them too. Remember to plan for your pets, which may necessitate different hotels or friends with whom you’ll shelter. You might also pre-pack and take photos and valuable keepsakes.

Arrange with someone in Wilmington to help with your property in your absence. It could be weeks before your return and it would be wise to leave your property key with someone to protect your property. At the least, they’ll be able to let you know the condition of things.

Update your insurance immediately. There could be as much as a 30-day wait before changes to your insurance become effective. Call your insurance agent today to ensure everything is in order.

Create a checklist. Sit down now and make a list of everything you think you need to do in advance of a hurricane.

Inspect your house. If some things could be patched up or repaired now, doing so could save you a lot of time and money.

Create a video inventory. Walk around inside your home with a video camera and create a record of everything you have. Be sure to make audio notes as you’re taking the video.

Remember that conditions can change rapidly. Have your plan in place and as you listen to the hurricane warnings keep in mind that conditions can change very rapidly.

We all hope there won’t be any major storms this year. But in reality, the only thing we can ever control is our own ability to respond in an emergency. Preparedness is truly the key — to keeping our loved ones and our property safe and being able to help others in the process.

Jim Moore is the president of James E. Moore Insurance Agency. Established in 1954, it has become one of the most trusted independent insurance agencies in North Carolina. The James E. Moore Insurance Agency is a family-owned business and offers homeowners, automobile, life and health, employee benefits, and commercial insurance products. For more information, call 910.256.5333 or visit the agency’s website at www.jamesemoore.com.

 

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