The Atlantic and Central Pacific Hurricane Season is officially here and will run June 1 – November 30. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) encourages people to take steps now to protect themselves and their home.
“Hurricanes are dangerous and can cause major damage due to storm surge, wind damage, rip currents and flooding,” said NAIC President and Florida Insurance Commissioner, David Altmaier. “Being prepared and reviewing insurance policies now will help make consumers more resilient in the event of a disaster.”
Know Your Risks
The first step in preparing for a flood-related disaster is to understand the risks specific to your area. FEMA regularly updates its flood maps. Check to see if you are living, working, or traveling through flood-prone areas.
Next, review your homeowner’s policy because most policies do not cover flooding. If yours does not, you might want to consider purchasing flood insurance to insure your property and belongings in case of damage.
Make an Emergency Plan
You may need to evacuate in the event of a hurricane. Make sure you have a plan, and everyone in your family and business understands what to do in the event of a weather emergency. Here are a few simple things that you can do to better prepare for weather emergencies:
– Learn the different warning signals from the Emergency Alert System. FEMA also provides real-time alerts from the National Weather Service. Download the FEMA app and get alerts for up to five locations nationwide.
– Build an emergency supply kit, commonly referred to as a go-bag in case you need to evacuate quickly. For ideas about what to pack, visit NAIC.org.
– Learn the evacuation routes for your town and practice with your household, pets, and identify where you will stay. Not all shelters take pets, so be sure to confirm they will accommodate them.
– Designate someone who lives out of town to be your family contact in the event of an emergency. Make sure everyone has access to the contact’s address and phone number.
Prepare Your Home
Build an inventory of your belongings in case you need to file an insurance claim. The NAIC offers a free home inventory app to make it easy for you to create a record of your home’s content and offers tips for disaster preparation and claim filing.
Help prevent damage to the electrical system and reduce the chance of fire from short circuits by raising your electrical systems a foot above Base Flood Elevation.
Make sure basements are waterproofed and your sump pump is working.
Clear debris from gutters and be sure to bring outdoor furniture inside in case of an approaching storm.
Visit the Fortified website information from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) on how to protect your property against severe weather.
If you have any questions, please call your agent at 334-270-0105, or contact Lynn Swink, Director of Personal Lines sales for a complimentary review of your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy.