With hurricane season upon us for another year, it’s time to start putting some extra effort into preparing your home for the potential storms coming your way. While none of us may want to think about the potential damage that a hurricane can bring, being prepared for it anyway may help to minimize the damage.
Exterior and interior preparations matter
It’s important to prepare the exterior of your home for hurricane season, but you’ll also want to remember to prepare the inside as well! It’s all well and good to make sure that your exterior is taken care of, but if you haven’t done anything to prepare your inside, you may still be dealing with some damage and destruction that can easily be avoided with a bit of preparation.
Make sure your electronics are prepared to be unplugged
All electronics (except maybe for the hard-to-access ones such as your washer, fridge, stove, etc) should be prepared to be unplugged quickly and easily. Clean out space around all outlets and, as much as possible, connect all electronics to a surge protector or two so that you can simply unplug that from the wall. Anything that you can unplug (lamps, chargers etc), do so.
Have your important papers and documents protected
You’ll want to have your important papers and documents protected. Ideally, they should be backed up (to an online storage cloud) and you should have photocopies stored in a firesafe and/or your emergency kit. These should include wills, insurance papers and other official documents you can’t lose. Those are likely the ones you will need to get your hands on should something bad happen.
Make sure you’ve got the proper insurance in place
Not all insurance covers everything during a hurricane, so you’ll want to contact your insurance agent to see what you are covered for, specific to hurricanes. Also, flood insurance is additional protection you can add on to give you protection in case of flooding common with hurricanes down in the Gulf Coast. It is not included in base homeowners insurance, so you’ll want to add it on. Also, it takes 30 days to take effect, so don’t wait!
Is your pet taken care-of?
Not all emergency shelters will accept pets, so you’ll want to consider a pet-friendly shelter in case of an evacuation, or make other arrangements to board your pet safely. You should also consider microchipping your pet in case he gets lost or separated and a chip reader can help rescuers guide him home again. Consider pet insurance for those unexpected accidents that may happen to your pet at a shelter or should he get lost and hurt.
Have an evacuation kit and route ready
You should have an updated and checked-over evacuation kit ready, and a plan. Supplies for emergency bags should include water, food, medications, flashlights and more. You’ll also want to have an evacuation route ready to go so that everyone in your household knows where to go, how to get there and where to rendezvous in case of separation. Ideally, you should test the route to see how long it takes (and take note of potential problems that may require you to arrange another route).
Most importantly, keep up to date with hurricane predictions and other information so that you are as prepared possible for an evacuation order. There isn’t always a lot of notice, so the more you can do in advance to protect yourself, your family and your home, the better.
Should you have any questions about your home or condo insurance as well as ensuring that you are covered in the event of an emergency or natural disaster, contact Harbour Insurance Services at (281) 520-4090 and let's discuss your concerns and needs to be sure you are properly covered.