Beautiful, sunny Florida – a wonderful place to live. And the perfect combination of warmth and water for hurricanes. With hurricane season upon us, it is time to prepare. Here are some things you can do now before Mother Nature considers sending a storm your way.
Know Your Evacuation Route
Some hurricanes are dangerous enough that staying remains unsafe. In these cases, you will need to evacuate. But where will you go? What will you take? And how will you get there?
It’s best to have a plan ahead of time. Be sure to:
- Get a list of shelter locations
- If you have pets, know how you will care for them and which shelters take animals
- Put together a list of important documents that need to go with you
- Test your route to be sure you know where to go
Purchase Emergency Supplies
When a hurricane is in the forecast, stores quickly run out of emergency supplies. So, today, while the weather is calm and no storms are on the horizon, go ahead and buy the following supplies:
- Batteries for flashlights, radios, and other battery-operated equipment. Be sure that you have enough spare batteries to change out old ones at least twice.
- Lamps with appropriate fuel
- Matches – keep in a plastic baggie to stay dry
- Emergency home repair tool kit – plywood, plastic sheeting, tarps, hammer, screw driver, crow bar, wrench, other basic tools
- Prescription medication
- Water – a 3-day supply for drinking
- Nonperishable food
- Manual can opener
- First aid kit
Note: If you need to evacuate, you should take these items to the shelter with you. Also, you will need to rotate food and medications to avoid expiration dates.
Create a Personal Property Inventory
You need to create an inventory of your personal items in every room of the house. This will help you know how much insurance to have. It will also be extremely useful in case you have to file a hurricane claim or apply for disaster aid. This inventory should be put with your evacuation documents.
Conduct Your Annual Insurance Review
What is worse than receiving hurricane damage? Finding out after the damage occurs that your insurance isn’t adequate or that your damage isn’t covered!
To be sure that doesn’t happen to you, conduct a yearly insurance review and check for the following:
- Enough insurance to rebuild your home
- Personal property insurance sufficient to cover your property
- Additional living expense (ALE) to cover expenses over and above your normal living expenses if you cannot continue to live in your home during repairs
- Flood insurance coverage – this is not covered by your homeowners policy and must be purchased separately.
- Wind and wind-blown water damage coverage – depending on your home’s location, you may need a separate policy for these perils.
Speak to your insurance agent about your current policies, what they cover, and what you might need to be sure you have enough insurance.
Prep Your Home
Prior to a storm, you need to bolster your home’s structure to withstand the high winds and pounding rains. Here are a few things to consider:
- Use mulch rather than gravel or rock in flower beds. Wind can pick up gravel and throw it at your doors and windows causing harm to your home.
- Trim trees to get rid of dead or weak branches.
- Install hurricane shutters or purchase plywood to cover windows before a storm.
- Replace garage doors with ones that can withstand hurricane force winds or retrofit with braces.
- Use urethane-based caulk around wall openings to prevent water leakage.
- Anchor down large items like boats and trailers
By following these hurricane preparedness tips, you will be ready for hurricane season. However, no amount of planning will stop all hurricane damage. If you suffer a loss due to a storm, give Aftermath Adjusters & Consulting a call. Our experts are here to help.