With Hurricane Season quickly approaching it is never too early to be prepared. Because of their unpredictable nature, hurricanes can often catch us off-guard. Aside from making your survival kit, what else can you do to prepare? Here are some steps you can take as hurricane season arrives.
Prepare your Home
- Build your Kit
Even days away from the predicted arrival of a storm, the supermarket shelves can look like doomsday. To avoid this mess of bare shelves and frenzied shoppers, grab the essentials now and store them inside. Bottled water, canned food, batteries, and flashlights are always first on the list, but there are other necessities that you may overlook. For example, do you have a way to charge your cell phone? The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes offers a complete guide to setting up your emergency kit.
- Stock Up
Fill your extra gas cans (those handy red plastic ones) at the season’s start. Since storm damage can make it difficult for gasoline tankers to get through, it’s best to have more on hand. In the wake of major storms, it can be days before fuel stations get restocked. If you have a gas-powered generator, this is essential.Keep a store of cash ready. Power outages and storm damage can also make banks inaccessible for days. As stores begin to open once again, you may not be able to use your credit card. Emergency cash is always a good idea
- Clean OutGutters, branches, and yards, oh my. To avoid potential damage, assess your property. Clean roof gutters and drain spouts (obviously letting gutter cleaners do the work for you) making sure water has a clear path away from your home. Hire a service to trim any large branches that may cause damage in high winds. This includes branches that hang low over a roof or near a window, dead limbs that can easily snap off and fly through the air, and branches that may damage vehicles in the driveway. Make a plan to clear patios and pool areas before the storm arrives.
Determine your Risk
Where you live will not only determine your hurricane risk, but your insurance needs. Coastal areas are at risk for storm surge while inland areas can be impacted by flooding from excessive rainfall. You will also need to know if you are living in an evacuation zone so you can be ready to move should you be directed by local authorities.
Make a home inventory that lists your assets with pictures of valuable items. Store the list digitally and update the inventory regularly. This will allow you to maintain a record for insurance purposes.
Secure your Coverage
The National Weather Service recommends having a conversation with your agent well before any storms arrive. Check that you have enough coverage in the event that your house is severely damaged or must be replaced. But there are precautions that are recommended to reduce the amount of water damage that could be inflicted on your home. Weather sealing your roof can reduce the amount of water that gets into your home. Reducing the chance of mold developing, leading to serious health complications for those with breathing issues. It would also be wise to consider weather sealers on your roof prior to the storm to reduce the chance of water penetration. For those thinking about this consider panterapavers.com. With the right weather sealer, you can reduce the amount of water damage to your home.
If you don’t already have flood insurance, this is a necessity for storm-prone areas. Whether you buy or rent a home, flood insurance is a separate policy that is not covered under your standard homeowner’s insurance. A new policy will take about 30 days to go into effect, so don’t wait.
Make sure you keep a copy of your policy information both digitally and as a physical document. Store it with other important documents in a water-proof container. Bring the document with you if you’re forced to evacuate. It would also be a good idea to have a roofing contractor at hand similar to Lehigh Valley roofing contractors if you wanted to speed up the process of repairing your home.
While there is no way of knowing what hurricane season 2020 will bring, how you prepare is in your control. Before the storms rage, make a plan for your family and your property.
If you have questions about how a hurricane will affect your homeowner’s insurance coverage, please contact us.