Hurricane season began June 1. Are you ready? The nation’s top emergency managers warn that millions of Americans from the Gulf Coast to the Eastern Seaboard as far north as Maine are in danger. Southern California has even experienced tropical storms, giving the West Coast a reason to be concerned.
While hurricanes are associated with extreme winds, the National Hurricane Center warns that storm surge actually causes the most damage and loss of life. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has developed new maps to show the danger. They also have a list of hurricane preparedness tips that include:
- Prepare an emergency kit
- Have a family evacuation and communications plan
- Install hurricane shutters or stock up on boards 5/8 exterior grade or marine plywood to cover windows and doors
- Install straps or additional clips to roofs to reduce damage
- Have a NOAA Weather Radio
- Be prepared to bring in anything that can be picked up by wind (bicycles, lawn furniture, play equipment, grills, etc.)
- Know how to turn off propane tanks and gas lines
- Keep your car’s gas tank full in case of evacuation
Are you covered if a hurricane strikes? The insurance industry recommends everyone take these steps:
- Learn how you can mitigate damage from wind and flooding associated with hurricanes
- Begin or update your home inventory (knowyourstuff.org)
- Understand your insurance – know whether you have actual cash value or replacement cost coverage, know how much living expenses coverage you have and make sure you have flood insurance (not covered with most home or renters insurance)
- Store copies of your inventory and insurance information in a safe location away from home
- Get an annual insurance review to make sure you have enough coverage for the dwelling and possessions
And here is what to do if there is damage to your property:
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible
- Secure the property from further damage or theft
- Keep or document receipts and other expenses if you are evacuated or forced to find another place to live because of damage to your home or apartment
- Be wary of unscrupulous contractors following a natural disaster
California Casualty is ready to help before or after the storm. Contact an advisor today for a policy review, to arrange for flood insurance or upgrade coverages at 1.800.800.9410 or visit www.calcas.com. It’s also our policy to call customers in a disaster area to make sure you are okay and help start a claim, and our Claims department is available 24 hours a day, even on holidays if you have an emergency.
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This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters and nurses. Get a quote at 1.800.800.9410 or www.calcas.com.