With hurricane season upon us, First County Bank is urging customers to prepare by staying informed and creating emergency plans to protect against the potential threat of bad weather.
“Preparation is key to ensuring safety during hurricane season,” said Katherine Harris, President and COO of First County Bank. “When faced with natural disasters, the bank takes preparation seriously to ensure customers have access to accounts and services, deposits are protected and our community is well prepared.”
In addition, the bank has taken preventative measures to enhance safety during emergencies by developing extensive recovery plans, educating employees on best practices in an emergency and staying actively involved in the community to identify the need for assistance after the storm.
“Through a few easy steps prior to a hurricane, households can be well prepared for the storm,” said Harris.
First County Bank offers the following tips to ensure you and home are prepared for the unexpected:
· Create an emergency kit and develop family communication plans. The emergency kit should include first aid supplies, a flashlight, extra batteries, at least three days of non-perishable foods and water, towels and a supply of any necessary medications.
· Identify an evacuation route and have a safe place to go. Establishing a plan before an emergency can help eliminate confusion and stress.
· Know when and where to evacuate, and know what you can and cannot bring to a shelter. Find out if your local emergency shelter allows animals and family pets or register pets at an animal shelter prior to a storm.
· Secure your home, shutters and outdoor objects that pose a potential hazard. Turn off propane tanks and other utilities if instructed to do so by emergency personnel.
· Ensure you are able to stay informed about the storm’s progress and to receive information from authorities by having a battery-powered radio or TV available.
· Keep financial documents and account numbers safe. Consider using a water and fire proof safe to keep important documents, collectibles and family heirlooms protected.
· Know the new changes to your property’s flood insurance. Recently, a law was passed that will have a major impact on flood insurance. FEMA’s map service center will show you the flood risk for your community, which helps determine the type of flood insurance coverage you will need since standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding. The lower the degree of risk, the lower the flood insurance premium.
· Understand the details of your insurance policy to ensure you have adequate coverage. Talk with your agent to decide if you need to reassess your plan. This is especially important if your property’s flood map has changed.
The FEMA website, Ready.gov, offers tips on preparing for an emergency. FEMA offers a free app that is available for download through your smart phone. For more resources, visit the FEMA site: http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes.