Nobody ever knows when the next big hurricane will strike the Gulf or Atlantic Coast, but few home owners ever regret taking some simple steps to prepare. Since hurricane season begins in June, it is the right time to prepare. You need to decide if you will evacuate or hunker down, make your home as hurricane-proof as possible and check your homeowners insurance policy to make certain that your house and valuables are well protected.
Make a Hurricane Kit
The decision to weather in place or evacuate could depend upon the situation, so you may need to prepare for both cases. Most of the things you will need in your hurricane kit will be similar in either case, but you may want to pack a couple of boxes with essentials in case you decide to leave.
- Gasoline: Fill your car up with gas and consider buying an extra gas can in case pumps don’t work after the power goes out.
- Water and ice: Stock up on bottled water for consumption and cleaning. Right before you hear news of a hurricane, fill a bathtub with water because you might need it to flush toilets. A bag or two of ice in the freezer and a durable cooler may come in handy.
- Food: Buy non-perishable food. Make sure you have a manual can opener, a portable stove or grill, plastic utensils, paper plates and some paper towels for convenience.
- Flashlights, batteries, and radios: Check for flashlights, portable radios and extra batteries.
- Cell phones and electronics: Keep your cell phones and other devices charged. A car charger or battery-powered charger can be very convenient if the power goes out, too.
- Prescriptions, first aid kits and contact information: Check supplies of prescription medication and your first aid kit. Also, keep a notebook with contact information for your doctors, insurance agents and family members.
- Remember your pets: If you need to evacuate, have pet carriers. Also, stock up on adequate pet food and water for Fluffy and Fido.
- Have cash on hand: When the power goes out, debit and charge machines don’t work either.
Prepare Your Home
Even small leaks can turn into big problems when confronted with the force of tropical storms and hurricanes. This is a good time to have roof maintenance and other small tasks completed. Your house is likely to emerge from a hurricane or flooding in better shape if it is already in good shape to begin with. Also, take the time to pick up debris and trim limbs around your yard, so they are less likely to become a hazard during the storm.
Check Your Homeowners Insurance Policy
You can feel secure about your home and your possessions no matter what happens if you make certain that you are well covered. Keep in mind that typical homeowners insurance policies do not cover floods, and you need a separate flood policy. Sadly, many homeowners never realize that their home policies do not adequately protect them against the threat of floods and high winds until after they try to make a claim.
Our professional and experienced Florida homeowners insurance agents at Atlantic Pacific Insurance, Inc. Insurance Agency are here to help you get adequate coverage and save money on your policy before disaster strikes. Give us a call at your earliest convenience, and we will be happy to look at your current policy, suggest options to help you get better coverage at a lower cost and answer all of your insurance questions.
Sources: flood insurance: https://www.apins.com/products/home-insurance/flood-insurance
hurricane preparations: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/ready.php
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