How to Prepare for a Hurricane
Are You Preparing for a Hurricane? With the recent influx of hurricanes this season, it's a good time to start thinking about how you can help protect your home if you're facing the storm. Even if you do not live in a flood prone area, there is still a chance that your home could be flooded from a hurricane. According to FEMA, almost 25% of all flood insurance claims are from homes in low risk areas!
Does my home insurance protect me from hurricane damage?
Your regular homeowners insurance does not protect your home in the event of a hurricane flood. You need a separate flood insurance to help you protect your home and belongings. Click here to learn more about flood insurance. Homeowners insurance is not enough to completely protect your home. If you live in a high-risk zone, you may need to purchase flood insurance. But even if your home is not in a high-risk area, it is still a good idea to look into flood insurance. 1
Hurricane Harvey alone inflicted $ 30 billion in damages. The insurance probably covers only about 40% of the damage from that storm. Of those affected, 80% of homeowners did not have flood insurance. This year we have seen an increasing number of tropical storms land in the United States. As the climate becomes more and more volatile, it is a good idea to get insurance in any case.
How much does flood insurance cost?
The average cost of a flood insurance policy is $ 700 per year. Of course, the cost of flood insurance varies depending on various factors such as location, size, content, etc. For minimal coverage for low risk areas, the cost of flood insurance can be much lower than average. The coverage limits are: $ 250,000 structure and $ 100,000 for its content. Talk to your agent about getting the right flood insurance for your home.
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How to prepare for a hurricane:  When we enter the hurricane season, it is important to prepare for the worst case. This can help minimize damage if you are in the path of the storm. Here are the steps you can take if you are worried about a hurricane damaging your home:
Having an Evacuation Plan
Regardless of the height of your home, make sure you know where the nearest evacuation center is. Establish a route to get there if you receive an evacuation message. Try testing this evacuation route before a storm occurs. Talk to your family members about the evacuation plan so they know what to do if you need to leave your home quickly.
Prepare Your Home Exterior
Make some repairs to your home that you have postponed. Make sure your roof is in good condition – repair any leaks and repair broken shingles. Make sure your home's structure is healthy before a hurricane hits. You may also want to set up plywood windows or place tape on the windows to prevent crushing. Call a professional for help if you feel uncomfortable or unsure about doing any of the work yourself.
Get food, batteries, water, first aid, etc. that are not perishable in the event of a power outage. Your storm package should have enough supplies for each person in the home to survive for three days. You may also want to get a generator that can provide some power to your home. Other things to get are: a whistle, a map and a radio. Keep your refrigerator and freezer at the lowest temperature to keep the food good. Remember to never run your generator inside your home.
Creating Copies of Important Documents
If your important documents are destroyed in a storm, it is a good idea to have a backup. Store them in a place outside your home. It could be another family member's house or a safe. In addition to making copies of documents, you should also create a home inventory. This lists all the content of your home and their value. If possible, save receipts for valuables. Read more about how to make a home inventory here!
Do not forget your pets
If you have pets, make sure they are not overlooked in the preparation process. If you are unable to care for your pet during an emergency, leave them in a shelter or with a family or friend. Do not leave them bound where they may be damaged by the storm. Also, make sure your pet has enough food and water as well. Include your pet as part of your family's contingency plan!
Get Flood Insurance
Keep in mind that flood insurance usually takes about 30 days to take effect. Get flood insurance before it's too late to do so! You can chat with an Encharter agent to get coverage before another storm strikes. In the meantime, you can learn more about flood insurance here.
The Washington Post