Once again we have the hurricane season on the horizon in the State of Florida, and as the season approaches we want to ensure that our valued customers and friends are very well prepared. With you in mind, we put together important information to help you plan for before, during, and after a storm.
Family Insurance Hurricane Preparedness Check List
Before the Storm…
- Review your insurance policies (Flood, Homeowners, Wind, and Auto ) to make sure you have adequate coverage – most cannot be changed once the storm has been forecasted. When hurricanes hit Florida Windstorm Insurance is usually the last thing on your mind. As your local agency let us help you!
- Pay special attention to replacement cost coverage of your property and be aware of the deductibles you have in each policy.
- If you rent or lease an apartment, ensure you have a renter’s insurance policy in place to protect your property.
- Take a complete inventory of your personal property
- Take photos and/or video of each room in your house and store on a safe place away from home—do not forget to include additional details such as serial number, make and model, etc whenever available. Storing your photos or videos in cyber space is always a good idea, just send yourself an e-mail with this information and you will have it available online.
- Secure important documents
- Get important papers in order, put them in a waterproof container (plastic bag for example), and keep them in a safe and sound place. Be sure to include your insurance policies, social security cards, wills, titles or deeds to property, birth certificates, photos of special occasion or loved ones that cannot be replaced, etc.
- Create a personal emergency plan
- Designate a room in your house where you will weather the storm—remember to stay downwind in your home (this means if the wind is hitting the living room windows, you must go the room opposite the leaving room); always look for the room with none or less windows.
- Plan how to meet your family in case you are separated—choose an out-of-town contact for everyone to call one place to report and get information about other family members.
- Even if you do not live in a mandatory evacuation area, have a back-up plan in case you are forced to evacuate your home. If staying with friends and family is not an option, locate the nearest public shelter—do not forget to arrange for the safekeeping of your pets, they cannot be taken to public shelters.
- Compile a Disaster Supplies Kit that includes:
- First aid kit—including prescription medicines and any over-the-counter remedies you or your children use regularly
- Non-perishable foods (5 to 7 days supply)—canned goods, cereal, crackers, juices, sodas, etc.—Do not forget the can opener
- Bottled water—One gallon per person per day
- Extra cash—remember that after a storm you may have hard time finding an ATM machine that is working
- Battery operated radio/television
- Flash lights
- Disposable dishes and utensils
- Charcoal/gas grill or stove
- A few board games or books—especially if you have children
- If you have small children—diapers, wipes, baby formula, and baby food
- Pet food if necessary
During a Storm…
- If a WATCH is issued
- Secure any outdoor furniture
- Prepare to cover your windows
- Fill your vehicle’s tank with gas
- Make sure that your ―Before the Storm plan is taken care of
- Prepare to cope with any family members that may need special medical needs; ensure you have the necessary food and supplies on hand
- Prepare to live without utilities and normal services for about two weeks after the storm
- Program your Insurance Company’s Claim Services contact number into your cell phone – (visit our web site for a list of insurance companies’ claim numbers)
- If a WARNING is issued
- Unplug all appliances that are not necessary
- Turn refrigerators and freezers to their coldest settings and do not open them unless necessary
- Take down awnings and secure loose fixtures that might blow away
- Secure all door locks to ensure they will not blow open
- Fill water containers and clean bath tubs with water
- Remain alert for any weather changes – eye of the storm, tornadoes, or sudden flooding
- Evacuate if instructed to do so, otherwise stay indoors away from windows and glass doors as shrubs, trees or any other objects may be airborne.
- Remain Calm!
After a Storm…
- Continue to monitor radio or TV weather reports
- Return home only when instructed to do so
- Inspect your home for any damage – make temporary repairs to minimize further damage
- Continue to use flashlights rather than candles for illumination
- Stay clear of ANY downed power lines or electrical sources
- Use only bottled water until instructed otherwise
- Exercise caution when using chainsaws to clear trees or brush
We at Family Insurance hope that the 2016 hurricane season is uneventful and want to remind you that you can contact us for assistance via phone, e-mail, or through our website; it will be our pleasure to serve you.