Hurricanes are natural disasters that bring demolishing winds and massive amounts of rainfall to land from the ocean. Coastal towns and cities across the world have been torn apart by hurricanes, but they aren’t the only ones who are usually affected. Hurricanes can cause significant damage to towns over 100 miles inland! As we approach the most active month of the year, September, now is the time to protect yourself and your family from these deadly natural disasters.
The relative lack of storms so far this hurricane season is bringing both good and bad news. While we are all taking a sigh of relief that there has yet to be a major storm, it could also be bringing a false sense of security. Many people in states where hurricanes usually hit may be “dropping their guard.” A new survey finds only a quarter of those living in hurricane-prone states think they are prepared if a monster storm hits, and nearly half of the respondents say they have yet to make any preparations this year.
Parts of the Southeast U.S., however, may be in for a rude awakening as Tropical Storm Dorian develops. The storm is expected to make landfall in Florida this Labor Day weekend as a Category 4 hurricane.
Remember all hurricanes, no matter what size, have the potential to cause significant damage and life-threatening situations. Looking back at the destruction previous hurricanes like Harvey, Sandy, and Katrina have caused, it is essential that you make sure your family, home, and belongings are completely protected.
Important Hurricane Coverages:
- Flood Insurance. A regular home insurance policy will not pay for damages caused by flooding, but when you add flood insurance to your policy it will cover all damages that happen to your property, even if you rent! Be aware that when you add flood insurance there is a 30-day waiting period until it goes into effect, so that means it is often too late to purchase it when a hurricane or tropical storm is approaching.
- Scheduled Personal Property Insurance (Floater). Many people find that after a natural disaster their insurance coverage is limited on expensive personal items (ex. jewelry, furniture, technology, firearms, collectibles, furs, instruments, etc.). Floaters protect your personal items for their full value.
Steps to Protect Your Home & Family
- Heed evacuation notices and keep your car’s gas tank full in case of evacuations
- Stock up on essentials like bottled water, non-perishable food items, toilet paper, and pet food
- Make sure pets are kept inside, safe, and have a spot to do their “business”
- Have a family evacuation and communication plan
- Prepare an emergency kit (ex. flashlight, medicines, cash, and important documents)
- Get a NOAA Weather Radio
- Sign up for National Weather Service storm texts at https://www.weather.gov/subscribe-hurricaneinfo
- Charge cell phones and other devices and have charged spare batteries
- Install storm shutters or purchase 5/8 exterior grade or marine plywood to cover windows or doors
- Add straps or additional clips to roofs to reduce damage
- Bring in or secure anything that can be propelled by wind (ex. grills, bicycles, lawn furniture, play equipment, etc.)
- Know how to turn off propane tanks and gas lines
After a Hurricane Strikes
- Make sure you, your family, and pets are safe and secure
- Register yourself as “safe” on the Safe and Well website
- Follow all city boil and curfew orders
- Secure the property from further damage or theft
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible
- 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
It’s important to know that flooding and storm surge are the biggest threats to life when hurricanes hit. Leave low-lying areas, never drive or cross through running water, and avoid rivers, streams, and creeks; which could flash-flood.
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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 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.