Preparing for the Unexpected
When Hurricane Harvey left a trail of $125 billion in damage, we assisted 3,200 employees and their families with more than $3.3 million to rebuild their lives. See the Area Foundation’s Philanthropy for Business section to find out more about our disaster relief programs.
"I can’t tell you how much the $5,000 helped me in getting my house back and to enable us to get a lot of work done. I have spent $56,000 and have to spend another $6,000 to get the tops on the kitchen cabinets and the bathroom vanity. Then we can move back in. Thanks again for the help. We will never forget this as long as we live."
- Employee impacted by Hurricane Harvey
What You Need to Know
Determine Your Risk Hurricanes are not just a coastal problem. The storm’s impact can be felt hundreds of miles inland. Determine the types of potential hazards that could occur where you live, and prepare now.
Develop an Evacuation Plan Determine where you will go and how you will get there if you need to evacuate quickly. Include alternative routes in case of road closures. Remember to include pets and large animals (i.e. livestock) in your plan.
Assemble a Disaster Kit Plan to have at minimum three-day supply of food, water, and medications on hand. Electricity and water may be out for several days, so be sure to include extra cash, a battery-powered radio and flashlights. You may want to include a portable crank or solar powered USB charger for items such as cell phones. More details on want to include in your disaster kit can be found here.
Get an Insurance Checkup Typically, standard homeowners’ insurance does not cover flooding, so whether you own or rent, you will need a separate policy. Also, be sure to include your car or boat on the policy and remember, it usually takes 30 days for a policy to become active. You can find flood insurance through your insurance company or at floodsmart.gov.
Strengthen Your Home There are many things you can do to help protect your home from winds and flooding that won’t cost a lot or take a lot of time to complete. Check out tips and videos to ensure your home is hurricane ready.
Help Your Neighbor Many Americans rely on the assistance of neighbors before and during hurricanes. Start the conversation with your neighbors and learn more about the actions you both can take to prepare and recover from hurricane hazards.
Complete a Written Plan Writing your plan not only helps you avoid mistakes when faced with an emergency but also ensures everyone in your home is prepared. Check out these tips for writing your plan.
Returning after a hurricane or flooding can potentially be very hazardous. Contaminated water and electrocution are a high risk. It is important to be aware of the dangers and take steps to protect yourselves and your loved ones. Check out these common harmful conditions that result from a hurricane and best ways you can defend yourself!
If your home or business suffered damage from the storm, be sure to make sure it is structurally sound before entering. Document the damage and contact your insurance or FEMA to see if you qualify. These additional Recovery Resources and Safety Guidelines can assist you on the path to rebuilding.
Besides the physical hazards, hurricanes can have an emotional impact on individuals. Irreplaceable personal belongings may be destroyed, family homes or businesses left in ruin. The financial impact can be devasting, which also takes an emotional tole. The effects of a hurricane can seem overwhelming, and stress, depression, and anxiety are common reactions afterwards. The Disaster Distress Helpline, a national, multilingual hotline provides crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster. Call 1.800.985.5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.