Louisiana residents know full well the dangers posed during hurricane season. Only a few months away, this June will begin another summer of potentially violent storms for the Gulf region.

Preparing one’s property for hurricane season serves three purposes. It can help prevent or protect against the worst of hurricane damage, offers a family adequate safety during a storm and potentially shields a property owner from liability in a personal injury case.

Protect the community, protect oneself

The following five steps can help Louisiana residents prepare themselves and their neighborhoods for the upcoming 2020 hurricane season:

  1. Understand the local area: Hurricanes can have devastating effects even hundreds of miles inland. Seek out hurricane damage information on the immediate area to better anticipate the potential danger.
  2. Have an evacuation strategy: It may be necessary to evacuate the area completely. Draw up plans with a friend or family member who can reasonably offer shelter during the storms. Putting the plan in writing helps.
  3. Purchase supplies: If staying put, store three days of supplies for each family member. Remember to include water, non-perishable food, first aid, money, a flashlight, batteries and tools like a solar-powered radio or USB charger.
  4. Double-check property insurance policies: Hurricane damage can be very costly for those without comprehensive insurance. An insurance policy review with an agent will be able to answer lingering questions and identify blind spots.
  5. Reinforce the community: Ensure the home is in good repair and compliant with building codes. Neighbors, particularly the elderly, may need assistance fortifying their homes as well. Board up doors and windows with aluminum, steel or plywood panels and tie down anything susceptible to severe winds.

Prevention can avoid liability

Safety is the number one priority during hurricane season, so residents and business owners need to take steps to protect the community and themselves. Though many government agencies will assist with hurricane cleanup, property owners may be liable for any damages caused by debris originating from their property. Securing homes and businesses and double-checking insurance policy should go a long way toward protecting oneself and the community.