It’s that time of year again. All eyes look to the horizon as we enter storm season. You want to do all you can to prevent possible damage. Here are 3 things that should be done right away to protect your home.
Be Aware of Risks & Make a Plan
- Know what types of disasters are most likely to affect your area. This can range from weather related storms to wildfire risk. Identify the largest threats and start by preparing for the most imminent threat first. Work your way down from there.
- There are some amazing online tools and resources available to help you prepare and build plans for emergencies. Ready.gov offers toolkits, workshops, and videos with loads of information and easy to use materials. FEMA also offers booklets, materials, and tools on how to make proper plans and put in place procedures.
- Other helpful resources include the Red Cross & U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Check Your Insurance Coverage & Save Up
- It is important to know what your policy does or does not cover. There are many scenarios and possibilities, so you may need to call your agent or research to make sure you have adequate insurance to cover any possible damages.
- Most basic policies have limits so you may need to add extra coverage to be adequately insured. You will also want to pay attention to things left out of coverage limits, or whether you will be reimbursed purchase price or depreciated value for your home and its contents. Reasons you may want extra coverage may include floods, earthquakes, wind & hail damage (in some areas), mold, sewage systems, and other plumbing or drain systems.
- Read your policy and be aware of terms used. Some are very broad, and others may be more restrictive. Pay close attention to how the insured and insured location is defined in the policy. If something in your policy doesn’t make sense, speak to your insurer right away so you are informed and have the coverage you need.
- In the event of a loss, you’ll be responsible for your deductible. You don’t want the cost of your deductible to cause added stress to an already difficult situation. Plan ahead, have an emergency fund, and know what you are financially comfortable covering if the need arises for you to make a claim.
Pre-Storm Outdoor Prep
- Gutters should be cleared of all dirt, leaves, and other debris. During heavy rain gutters help to move water smoothly and swiftly away from your roof and home. If they are clogged, then water has nowhere to go.
- Remove dead, diseased, or hollow trees. Strong winds and rain can make unhealthy trees vulnerable to breaking and falling, causing damages. For safety, call in a tree expert if needed for help.
- Check around your home’s foundation for signs of cracks or gaps and make repairs. Water can seep in quickly to these types of entry points if not taken care of.
- All outdoor furniture should be stored away securely. During high winds tables and chairs can become dangerous and destructive.
Storms can easily cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time. Taking preventative measures will be the best way to protect your home.
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