Hurricane season may start on June 1 every year, but the season peaks around August and September. So, if you have not had a chance to get your hurricane preparations in order, do not panic. There is still time, but it is best to get started sooner rather than later. Here are 5 tips on things you can do to prepare your home.
1) Review your insurance policy. While this activity does not require changes to your home, skipping it can cost you dearly down the road if there is in fact a storm or hurricane. The first thing to do is dig out your homeowner’s policy, and any separate policies you may have for wind and hail, auto, and flood. Evaluate the coverage limits for the various types of damage as well as for the various assets that can be damaged. The question here is whether you have adequate coverage for everything that you own. Did you buy a new car this year? Look and see how much value is covered depending upon the type of event: flood, wind, etc. When in doubt, always consult a professional who can review your policies and advise of any gaps in coverage.
2) Document, document, document. In addition to making sure you have copies of all of your relevant insurance policies ready to go should you need to evacuate, also make certain that you have accurate and up to date information about your insured items. This means taking video or photographs of your home, its contents, your automobiles, and any other valuable property to document its pre-storm condition. This is also helpful after a storm when you are trying to determine what caused damage to the home, including whether or not the damage was pre-existing.
3) Make necessary repairs and invest in safeguards. A few shingles out of place on the roof can spell expensive repairs after a storm. Storm shutters can save windows and prevent water or wind incursion. Roof repairs, shutter installation, and other preventative maintenance are all projects to tackle now while the storm threats are still low, suppliers are not sold out, and contractors still have availability.
4) Have a plan. In the event the mandatory evacuation order is given in your community, it is best to have a plan in place both for getting out of town and for setting up somewhere else. Decide ahead of time what level of storm you are comfortable riding out at home and what level will trigger a personal evacuation, assuming no official call is made. Determine a location where you will go, how you will get there, where you will stay, what cars will be taken, and what items will be taken. Do not forget to make provisions for pets.
5) Be prepared to stay. If you do decide to stay, especially for lower category storms, stock up on the essentials – fresh water, canned foods, candles, batteries, and board games. Recognize that it may take more than a few hours (or even a few days) for power and internet service to be restored. Consider having a landline phone that does not require power to be able to make and receive calls. Be prepared, however, to evacuate as soon as possible should the need arise.
The key to hurricane safety is to prepare. The Monfiston Firm is here to help you every step of the way from reviewing your insurance policies to ensure you have sufficient coverage to dealing with insurance companies after the storm. Contact The Monfiston Firm at 888-988-FIRM (3476) or Contact us for a free case evaluation today.