Hurricane season: How to prepare your home and property
Hurricane season begins June 1. Is your home ready? Here’s what you need to know before the next storm heads your way.
Consider flood insurance. Floods can happen anywhere, especially after a major storm. You don’t have to live in a flood plain to need flood insurance, and homeowners policies typically don’t cover floods. Talk to your agent or look online to get a flood policy. There’s a 30-day waiting period before it’s active, so don’t wait until a storm is threatening.
Add your agent to your phone contacts. Put your agent and insurance company in the contact list on your phone. Make copies of important documents, such as your policy’s declaration page and auto and health ID cards, and email them to yourself so you can get to them if you must leave your house.
Make a home inventory. It’s easy to make a home inventory. Take pictures or videos of each room in your home. For major items, write down the serial number, what you paid, and date you bought them. Don’t forget to video items inside closets and drawers. Having a home inventory is one of the best things you can do to make sure you get the full value of your claim.
Consider comprehensive coverage for your car. Comprehensive auto insurance covers damage to your car from flood, hail, fire, or wind.
Get your roof checked. Damaged shingles or leaks around chimneys or skylights will get worse in a storm. Have a professional secure loose shingles and check the metal flashing around openings or on roof valleys for leaks.
Toughen your exterior. Two investments that can really pay off: storm shutters for your windows and a wind-resistant garage door. Garage doors are especially vulnerable in high winds and can collapse inward. This puts tremendous pressure on your roof and walls. If you don’t have a door designed for high winds, you can add a brace to a regular garage door for added protection.
Get your yard ready. Remove dead tree limbs and branches that hang over your house. Check for items that can become windborne, such as yard furniture or trampolines, and tie them down or bring them inside.