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    Hurricane Awareness

    Posted by Ben Gordon

    Fri, Jun 21, 2013 @ 10:07 AM

    As of June 1, we have officially entered Hurricane Season, and we won’t be out of it until November 30, so there are a few things that you may want to keep in mind this season.

    Hurricane

    Hurricane Keep your home safe in case of storms or hurricanes with homeowners from andrew g gordon inc

    First off, it’s helpful to know what’s what, so here’s a chart covering the different storms:

    What it’s called

    What defines it

    What to expect (for a well built home)

    Tropical Cyclone

    A rotating system of clouds and storms that originates over tropical waters.

     

    Tropical Depression

    A tropical cyclone with sustained winds of 38 mph or less

    Occasional snapped branches, damaged wind chimes.

    Tropical Storm

    A tropical cyclone with sustained winds of 39-73 mph

    Gusts may snap larger branches, possible mild damage to shingles and gutters.

    Category 1 Hurricane

    A tropical cyclone with sustained winds of 74-95 mph

    Large branches may snap.  Gutters, shingles, and shutters may be torn away.

    Category 2 Hurricane

    A tropical cyclone with sustained winds of 96-110 mph

    Major damage to the roof and its sides. Many trees may snap or be uprooted. Some roads blocked and near-total power loss for a few days to weeks.

    Category 3 Hurricane

    A tropical cyclone with sustained winds of 111-129 mph

    Major damage to roofs, gables, and sides of buildings.  Many roads blocked, electricity and power unavailable from days to weeks.

    Category 4 Hurricane

    A tropical cyclone with sustained winds of 131-156 mph

    Severe damage to exterior walls and roofs. Possible roof collapse. Most trees snapped or uprooted. Most of area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

    Category 5 Hurricane

    A tropical cyclone with sustained winds greater than 156 mph

    Possible destruction of entire house, with total roof and wall collapse.  Fallen trees and power lines will isolate whole neighborhoods.  Power outages will last for weeks or months.  Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

    Considering that we live in New England, we aren’t as likely to be hit by a high level storm as states farther south, but that may lull us into a false sense of security. Just because we PROBABLY won’t get hit with 156 mph winds, doesn’t mean the 95 mph winds won’t do serious damage.

    Stay safe during hurricane season with homeowners insurance from Andrew G Gordon IncSome things to be wary of:

    ·         Falling Trees – New England is full of large, broad leafed trees that, unlike that palms down south, are more likely to snap in high winds than bend and survive.  Downed trees can knock out power lines, block major roads, or damage your roof, patio, or car. Consider trimming trees back, especially if they are close to the house.

    ·         Pooling Water – The heavy rains associated with hurricanes will also accumulate and create large puddles or pools.  Around the yard, these may be fine, but if they build up next to your home, you may face water damage or flooding in your basement.  My own basement used to flood from regular summer showers, but we installed a French drain, which has done wonders.

    ·         Coastal Surges – If you live near the coast, or have a vacation home near the beach, you will want to watch out for storm surges, water that is forced by winds to create outrageous tides.  The damage incurred from the surge is covered under your flood, not wind, insurance.

    Flying Debris –The high winds will not only tear down trees, but also whip around random detritus. The aesthetic pebble paths or gravel driveways may bite you in the rump during a hurricane, and your exterior walls will look pox marked and torn up after the stones get hurled from a 100 mph gust. Soft mulch and asphalt may be a safer alternative to consider.

    If you suspect that you may lose power, or that your road may get blocked by trees, consider preparing an essentials kit well beforehand. You can put some of the following into your kit:

    • Extra batteries and flashlights
    • First aid kit
    • Cash (ATM’s may not be working)
    • Ample water (1 gallon per person per day)
    • Personal hygiene items
    • Non-perishable food
    • Pet supplies
    • Entertainment (board games, books, cards)

    Remember to keep up with the weather reports this season, and pay especially close attention if you hear a hurricane watch or warning, they demonstrate a 36 or 24 hour arrival time of the storm, respectively.

    INSURANCE QUESTION?  Hurricane Resources

    Ben Gordon

    Tags: tropical, irene, hurricane, preparation, hurricane season, bad weather, emergency kit, what to do hurricanes, chart, storm chart, different kind of storms, storm types, winds, wind damage, cyclone, depression, category, flooding, Flood, storm, rain, sandy

    Hurricane Sandy- Déjà Vu

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Tue, Oct 30, 2012 @ 03:16 PM

    HurricaneA lot of us might be feeling some déjà vu after Sandy.

    Last year, Irene caused power to go out across the eastern coast, and Sandy has done the exact same thing. More than 75% of homes in Norwell, the town in which Gordon Insurance is located, have lost power from this storm.  All across Massachusetts and the south shore, schools canceled classes for Monday and Tuesday.

    The winds from Sandy caused several trees and branches to fall. These trees and branches landed on the roads, cars, power lines, and homes.  And, not only were the roads covered in tree debris, but these roads were also flooded. Flooded roads have an extremely higher risk of hydroplaning and car damage. Driving in these conditions is certainly not safe.

    Sandy was considered a hurricane until Monday night. At that point, she downgraded from a Category 1 hurricane to a tropical storm.

    Last year, Irene caused approximately 16 billion dollars in damage. It will take a few days to evaluate all the damage left from Sandy, but Sandy’s damage is estimated to be in the same ballpark as damage from Irene last August.

    One thing is certain: tropical storms and hurricanes do affect Massachusetts. Especially after seeing all the damage from Irene and Sandy, risk prevention and insurance certainly seem worth it.

    We have several hurricane resources for you, including checklists, a video, and other helpful links that can help you prepare for a storm.

    Read about what our staff have to say about hurricanes:

    If you have any other questions, do not hesitate to contact us. Learn about your hurricane resource options here.

    INSURANCE QUESTION?

    Tags: home, tropical, damage, irene, hurricane, preparation, insurance, storm, Coastal, sandy, lessons

    Hurricane Season 2012: Be Prepared

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Thu, Jun 28, 2012 @ 03:32 PM

    Hurricane Debby’s damage to Florida is a reminder that hurricane season is here; it’s time for all of us who lie in a potential hurricane path to be ready and get prepared. That means get ready for the worst storm before hand, know what to do during the hurricane, and be on top of dealing with the aftermath.

    Before the Storm

    hurricane

    Never get caught “up a creek without a paddle” as some might say. Be ready for the worst case scenario storm.

    Know what to do with you and your family should disaster strike. This includes having a pre planned evacuation route, how to shut off utilities, having extra fuel. A pet plan is necessity if you want to protect Fido. (see our blog about pet plans).

    We provide a free checklist prepared by our in-house insurance experts. Any checklist you find will be a blessing if you follow it.

    • Prepare a survival kit

    Canned food, FIRST AID KIT, portable radio, clothing: our checklist has a more comprehensive list

    During a Hurricane

    The key word here is stay safe. Don’t adventure outside until the storm is long gone.

    Aftermath

    Listen for any flood warnings and other public service announcements, follow suggestions. One of the best things you can do if your home has suffered damage is to make the temporary repairs necessary (take pictures of damage for evidence.) Your policy probably requires this anyway and costs should be covered. Make your claim as soon as possible as well. If you have questions on your policy, contact us and we’ll make sure you’re prepared to be covered.

    Keep your home dry and prevent mold from taking hold.

    And for more info on Hurricane season 2012:

    INSURANCE QUESTION?

    Tags: home, plan, damage, hurricane, preparation, insurance, debby, tornado, prevention, homeowners, disaster, storm, tips, survival kit

    Winter Preparation for the Exterior of Your Home

    Posted by Val Feeney

    Tue, Sep 20, 2011 @ 06:19 PM

    Protect both the interior and exterior of your home this winter with homeowners from Gordon InsurancePreparing the inside of your home for the impending cold weather is an important annual task in the northeast.  An often overlooked chore, however, is ensuring that the exterior of your home is prepared as well.

    DRAINS

    Cleaning your gutters after the leaves have all fallen off the trees can prevent damage to your roof, the fascia, and even your basement and crawlspace. If rain water and snow cannot travel down the spouts, it's going up and over...potentially damaging your garden beds located under those gutters, too. Before the first snow at a minimum, all gutters should be checked for debris and any downspout clogs. Ideally you'll have those gutters cleaned out when they're dry. If you have anywhere near the number of leaves we do, you'll be doing this cleaning more than once.

    TREES

    Take the time to visually inspect your trees for weak limbs.  Snow and ice that builds up can cause limbs to crack and fall, damaging anything underneath, including your roof, shed or fence. There is great satisfaction in cutting down these limbs and hauling them away. HOWEVER, any trees that are near ANY power lines are best left to experts. Terrible accidents can happen if a homeowner's pruning tools come into contact with an energized wire.  

    WATER CONNECTIONS

    All water connections on the outside of the house should be drained and closed tightly. If not done correctly, the water pipe leading into the house may freeze and crack, rendering it useless and expensive to fix next spring. Hoses and sprinklers should also be drained, coiled, and put away.

    LAWN

    Winterizing your lawn is an important step so you do not have to spend additional money next spring putting it back together.  All leaves, acorns, and twigs should be raked; if left in place, this debris will smother the grass and not allow air to get to the soil. Grass can be cut until the first frost. Applying proper fertilizer to the lawn before this event, preferably after a fresh cut, is important as it will keep the grass healthy and strong. Any shrubs that are overgrown should be cut back, allowing them to withstand heavy snow. 

    FURNITURE

    All of your outdoor patio furniture and decor should be cleaned and put away to prevent damage from the elements that can split wood, peel paint, and rust or rot joints. High winds alone can send lawn chairs into your neighbor's yard or the middle of the street. Pools should be properly drained and covered. 

     

    Preventative measures will be well worth your weekend time when you endure another winter without an insurance claim. When your home and your yard are intact next spring your weekends can be spent on the golf course!  Should we be faced with a significant weather event, FEMA is a great information resource. Of course the Gordon Atlantic Insurance professionals always welcome your calls. Our toll free number is 1-800-649-3252. Prefer to type versus talk? Use the form to the left of this blog.

    INSURANCE QUESTION?

     

    Tags: home, winter, risk, safety, lawn care, homeowners claim, preparation, reducing risk, exterior, roof, lawn, gutter cleaning, winter storm

    Winter Preparation: Interior of the Home

    Posted by Val Feeney

    Tue, Sep 20, 2011 @ 05:57 PM

    Ensure your homes and familys safety this winter with homeowners and personal from Gordon InsuranceThe fall season hasn’t officially started yet, but the cold weather sure has.  Temperatures have dipped into the 30’s at night, making many homes too cold for young children or the elderly the next morning.   Many people will be reluctantly turning on their heat for the first time since last spring.  Before you do so, there are a few things you should check to make sure your house is ready, FEMA has more winter storm tips as well.

    The Furnace

    The furnace needs to be examined for any issues before you turn it on for the first time.  If you are using oil, make sure the oil tank is full.  If you use natural gas, make sure the gas line coming into the house is properly open.  Make sure the pilot is properly lit.  Clear any debris from around the furnace and boilers that could become flammable. Home Safety Council outlines other heating method safety tips.

    Insulation

    Once the furnace has been inspected, it’s time to make sure the house is sealed up to successfully contain the heat.  Now is the time to take out any fans or air conditioners that are in any windows.  Check all the windows and make sure they are closed and have no cracks or holes.  Be sure to check any basement or bulkhead doors that may have drafts and properly seal them. 

    Thermostat

    In order to get the most efficient use out of your heating system, a smart thermostat is a must.  These programmable thermostats can be set to a daily schedule to keep the house warm when it is occupied, and to be turned off during hours that no one is home or sleeping under warm covers. 

    Carbon Monoxide Warning

    Finally, before you turn on the heat in your house, it is wise to install a carbon monoxide detector near the furnace.  If the furnace is not working properly, it may leak poisonous amounts of carbon monoxide into the house, making for a dangerous situation. Since carbon monoxide has no odor, it is essentially impossible to identify without a detector. Many carbon monoxide detectors are cheap and can be plugged into an electrical outlet. 

    Turn on the Heat

    Once you follow these steps, you are ready to turn on the heat and enjoy a warm and cozy winter.  If you are unsure on any of these steps, you can contact a professional plumber who can perform a routine maintenance checkup on the furnace for you, ensuring it is properly running. You can always check Home Depot for more home safety tips.

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    Val Feeney

    Tags: home, winter, safety, preparation, cold weather insulation, restarting furnace, snow protection

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