blog_hurrican As Hurricane Joaquin strengthens and barrels across the Atlantic taking aim at the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, experts are warning people to be prepared. Even if it doesn’t make landfall, the storm could drench coastal areas from Geo rgia north to Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. Some areas could get as much as 20 inches of rain this weekend. Are you ready?

blog_cyclonedeath 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:

  1. Learn how you can mitigate damage from wind and flooding associated with hurricanes
  2. Begin or update your home inventory (
  3. 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)
  4. Store copies of your inventory and insurance information in a safe location away from home
  5. 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 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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