Emergency Hurricane Preparation FAQs

Safety has prepared the following hurricane safety checklist, and has also provided procedures on how to report a claim.

Emergency hurricane preparation

Before the storm hits

  • Understand the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning. A hurricane watch means that a hurricane may occur within the next 24 to 36 hours. A hurricane warning means that a hurricane will probably strike your area within the next 24 hours.
  • Prepare a Disaster Supply Kit.
  • Have a place to go and plan your evacuation route in advance of the storm.
  • Create a communications plan with family or friends outside of the storm area.
  • Make sure elderly family members and/or neighbors are safe.
  • Close storm shutters and board up windows. Tape windows to prevent shattering of glass. Remember tape will not prevent windows from breaking.
  • Move garbage cans and other large objects inside the house or garage.
  • Review how to shut off utilities in an emergency with all family members.
  • Secure your boat or move it to a safer place.
  • Pre-select a garage or carport to park your car in or an area of high ground in case of flooding.
  • Make a plan now for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate.

During the storm

  • Listen to the radio for important storm information and instructions.
  • If at home, stay inside and away from all windows, skylights and glass doors. Do not go outside, even if the weather appears to have calmed. The "eye" of the storm can pass quickly, leaving you outside when strong winds resume.
  • To reduce pressure, open a window or door on the opposite side of your house facing the wind. Then stay away from all windows.
  • Turn off electricity if flooding begins and keep the refrigerator door closed to conserve food.
  • If you must evacuate, leave as soon as possible and be sure to tell someone outside of the storm area where you will be and how you can be contacted.
  • Make sure to take your cell phone and battery charger with you.
  • When leaving your house, turn off all utilities including gas, water, and electricity. Also, tightly lock your home's doors and windows, including the ones on the second floor.

After the storm

  • Stay tuned to the radio or television. If you have had to evacuate, return home only after authorities have advised it is safe to go home.
  • Notify friends and family that you are safe as soon as possible.
  • Check on elderly family and neighbors.
  • Avoid downed power lines.
  • Beware and check for gas leaks or electrical system damage.
  • Don't try to move large trees or branches that have fallen on your home. You could possibly hurt yourself or cause more damage.
  • Use your emergency water or boil tap water before drinking until you are told the water supply is safe.
  • Cover broken windows or holes in walls or roofs to prevent further damage.
  • If your power is out, unplug all small and sensitive items to prevent electrical spike damage (this includes TV, VCR, computers, etc.)
  • Promptly report the loss to your professional independent agent or the Safety Hurricane Claim Line (800-951-2100 or 617-951-0600).
  • Keep an accurate record of all temporary repair expenses (e.g., bills and/or material receipts) so that you can add the amount to your claim.
  • Determine the damage to your personal property (contents). Make a written list of what was damaged (including manufacturer, brand name, and the place and date of purchase).
  • Separate damaged and undamaged property.