Are you prepared for a hurricane?

Since June 1 is the beginning of hurricane season, next week is National Hurricane Preparedness Week. The purpose of this week is to educate people on how to properly prepare for a hurricane, whether it be for your home or for your business. There are many things you can do to prepare yourself for a storm of this kind.

One of the most important steps in protecting yourself is to look at your policy. Make sure your homeowner’s or your business owner’s policy has enough coverage to help you in case of emergency. A homeowner’s policy typically covers the cost to repair most hurricane damage, including damage to roofs, walls, vehicles, and personal belongings. But you need to know that flood damage is not covered by these policies, so if you have a risk of flooding from a hurricane, you should get supplemental coverage. Some homeowner’s policies do cover additional living expenses in the event you are unable to live in your home due to damage. Make sure to review all your policies every year to see what you are covered for, and what you aren’t. You may want extra coverage with the increasing likelihood of hurricanes the past few years.

Around your house or business, there are many precautions you can take to minimize the amount of possible devastation to your property. Having storm shutters installed can protect windows. Clearing your yard of debris and loose objects can prevent from wind throwing things around and causing potential damage. Gutters and drains should be cleared as well in order to prevent Make sure you have safe places to park your cars, boats, and other potential vehicles to minimize damage to them. Check basements and lower levels to make sure there is nothing that can be ruined in case of flooding or heavy rain. Any records or back-ups should be stored off-site as well. You should also take inventory of everything of value in your home or business. While having a written list is handy, even photographic or video evidence is helpful as well. Stock up on emergency supplies, such as water, batteries, flashlights, and canned goods in addition to other essentials. You should also be prepared with important items in case of the need to evacuate.

After the storm, safety is the number one most important thing to consider. Make sure windows aren’t broken and check your property to assess potential damage. Be wary of potential downed trees, wires, and road flooding in your area. Any damage should be reported so it can be properly assessed and repairs taken care of.  Temporary repairs may need to be made in some instances. Preventative measures should be taken as well to prevent further damage, such as moving wet items to drier areas, boarding up broken windows and doors, and moving damaged items to safer areas so they could be more properly assessed.

While this all may seem like a lot to prepare for a storm that may never come, it’s always better to be safe when these kinds of storms hit. Call us at 516-484-5200 to make sure your policies will properly cover you and that you’ll be ready in case of emergency.

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