Hurricane Season is (July 1-Nov 30). We’ve all seen the destructive force that Hurricanes as low as a Category 1 can cause. No one knows with 100% surety where the storms will hit and at what speed so it’s important that you prepare if you are possibly in the path.
More Tips for Preparing
• Start running your ice makers days in advance and bagging the ice in freezer bags. Fill the empty spaces in your freezer with these bags. Remember to keep a little space in the bags for the water to expand when it freezes.
• Freeze tap water in a Tupperware for your pets.
• Obviously if you don’t have a generator, there’s a good chance that you will be without power at some point during or after the storm. Use up your perishables as much as possible prior to the storm. Keep in mind as you use up something in the freezer to add more frozen water bags to fill the space.
• Fill your gas tanks in your vehicles so that you are ready to leave if needed. Keep in mind that sometimes a panic at the gas stations before a storm can cause a gas shortage and a significant increase on gas prices, so try to get gas in advance to be ready.
• CASH yes be sure to have plenty of cash on hand for at least gas, food stops, and possibly for hotel stay in case your credit card is frozen for “out-of-state suspicious activity”.
• Take a picture with your phone of important documents and email them to yourself so you have a copy.
• Pet food and pet vet records have ready in case you need to leave to a shelter.
• Share your evacuation plans with your family and close friends so they know where you’ll be heading.
• Place heirlooms and photos in plastic bins and on higher floors if possible in case of flooding. We’ve all seen from the last few storms that flooding can happen even in areas not prone to flooding.
• Secure your firearms and ammunition.
• Place old rags and beach towels on your windowsills and in front of your doors to help from water seeping in.
Secure your Home
• Put EVERYTHING away that is outside, including trampolines, plants, chairs, umbrellas, grills, and anything that could become flying debris. Remember hurricanes have great strength and your yard items will become dangerous projectile if you leave it outside.
• Check your neighbor’s yard if possible for yard debris. It’s a great time to help your neighbor out if you have time. Remember their yard objects could become your problem too If the storm comes to your area.
• Use Hurricane Panels or Plywood to cover your windows
• Place cars your leave behind in a garage
• Remove boats from the water if possible and strap it down to secure
• If you have a pool cover the filter
• Anchor garage doors so that they don’t bend from the wind pressure
• Before you vacate the premises be sure all doors and windows are locked
• Do a video walk thru of your home, open all closets, cabinets, drawers, etc. If you need to file a claim after the storm this will help you remember all the items you will need to list in your claim. (Do you really remember how many dishes, pots, pans, and glasses you have? Do you remember how many shirts you have)
• Freeze a cup of water, then place a quarter on top of the ice. If you are forced to leave this will tell you when you come back if the power was out. If the quarter is on the bottom you will know your food is potentially spoiled and everything needs to be thrown out.
• Do not stay in a manufactured home if the storm is approaching your area
• Safest place in your home is typically in the center away from windows, possibly under a staircase or under a very heavy piece of furniture.
• Take jewelry, furs and other small items to a safe place to avoid theft.
What to do if you have Water Damage
• When outside be watchful for snakes and alligators that may have been relocated during the storm.
• It’s important to remove wet items as quickly as possible.
• Remove wet drywall, wet carpets, pull off wet baseboards. Keep sample pieces of the carpets. Keep your house well ventilated as well as possible.
• Keep track of money you spend protecting your property. Do not hire any contractors until after you have spoken to your insurance claim representative. Keep all receipts of repairs to give to your insurance rep.
• It’s helpful if you take photos of all items you throw out. If possible when making a claim try to have the manufacturers name. Of course, the date and price you paid would be helpful too, but who keeps all their receipts?
• Do not throw out large items like TV’s and furniture until you check with your insurance rep because they might require the items to be inspected.
• When handling antiques that have gotten wet, do not rub them since it could damage the finish.
• Dry wood furniture as soon as possible.
• Dry and clean carpets that got minor water damage. Carpet that has been soaked in water needs to be removed.
• Prevent corrosion of metal objects like stoves and refrigerators by drying them right away.
• Electrical items that have gotten wet should be professionally serviced before use.
How to Submit a Claim
• Get repair estimates by a reputable contractor. It’s best to use a local reputable contractor so that if there’s any problems with the repair work you can find them than if you use someone from out of the area.
• If possible, make a room by room photographic inventory of your damaged property including the brand name, model number, age, and purchase price and place of purchase if you can. This will speed up the settlement of your claim.
• Call your insurance company immediately!
Thank you Tim Moore from State Farm Insurance for helping us with this information. If you have a claim to file with State Farm call 1-800-SF CLAIM.
Your REALTOR® can Help too!
The Regina Drury Real Estate Group works with contractors and insurance companies on a regular basis. If we can help you with recommendations or suggestions, please let us know. We look forward to providing you with all of our expert knowledge and focus on maintaining a high degree of customer service that will leave a lasting impression. Contact us today to talk about your Real Estate needs.
The information here was gathered from various sources. Although we believe it’s accurate, we do not warrant it’s accuracy. Contact your local insurance company for more information.