Hurricane Season underway, state holds annual preparedness expo for homeowners

SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) – Savannah took away many lessons from Hurricane Matthew. One included is the fact that we missed a direct hit and were fortunate. This weekend locals are learning more to be ready for the next one.

“If it happens the next time, I will be prepared.”

Carmen Dargan and Juliette Bee learned a hard lesson last hurricane season.

“Three trees fell on my house so I had to move,” says Bee who evacuated.

Both like the dozens here made it through Matthew. Insurance worked out for both of them in the end with damage. That’s not why they are at the expo though.

“I really did not know how to prepare myself and where to get more information,” says Dargan.

“A lot of people after Matthew, we learned, had named-storm deductibles, which means they had to pay a little more out-of-pocket than they anticipated and it’s just better to know that beforehand than after,” says Deputy Insurance Commissioner Jay Florence.

The insurance commissioners office has held this expo for nearly twenty years in Savannah. The turnout speaks for itself — being prepared is better sooner rather than later.

“We want people to be personally prepared, have an emergency kit, know your evacuation route, know where you’re going to go when we ask you to leave and also have a communications plan,” says CEMA Director Dennis Jones.

“I want to have a hurricane preparedness kit, the flashlights, the water, the batteries, extra chargers,” Bee says.

New since Matthew there are evacuation routes now for Chatham county. Before the storm comes there’s a checklist; do you have the right insurance, a storm kit, and a plan if you have to leave.

“I just want to be aware, ready and prepared,” she adds, the biggest lesson she took from the evacuation was how to be ahead of the game with knowing your destination you’re evacuating to.

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