Hurricane Preparation for Your Family and Your Assets

Amanda Wratchford // September 08, 2017

Preparing for a hurricane is no doubt a scary and unnerving experience, but the best thing you can do for yourself, your family and your assets is to be prepared. Here are a few quick steps to think about when you’re in the process of preparing for the unknown impact of a tropical event:

Hurricane Preparedness Kit

Know your Insurance Coverage

Does your homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policy cover wind or flood? (Unfortunately, standard homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies often cover wind damage, but not groundwater flooding.)

  • If YES – Review your policy details for your deductible details. If it is a steep price that may not fit into your budget right now you may want to consider Hurricane Deductible BuyBack Insurance, through our partner Vertus Insurance. Coverage includes reimbursement up to 100% of homeowner’s policy deductible loss caused by a hurricane, additional coverage for exposures typically restricted or excluded in homeowners policies such as screened enclosures, carports, docks, awnings, etc.
  • If NO - Weigh your options and price them out with a trusted, licensed insurance professional.
    • There are often 2 options:
      • National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) - While NFIP coverage is cost efficient, you need to act well in advance of a name storm as there is a 30-day waiting period before coverage takes effect, according to FloodSmart.gov.
      • Private Insurance Company - Private flood insurance can be much more expensive than NFIP coverage, but could be the only coverage available and only has a 3-day waiting period for it to become active.

Know Your Evacuation Zone & Route

  • Research your community’s evacuation zones, each zone also has a recommended evacuation route
    • Florida Resource – FloridaDisaster.org
    • Georgia Resource – GeorgiaDFIRM.com

Know Your Plan

  • Evacuation Plan - Reach out to family and friends for a place to stay. If this is not an option, book a hotel far away from the storm’s path. Don’t forget to take your pets into consideration when booking.
  • FEMA – Family Communication Plan - Have a family communication plan in place as traditional communication networks can be unreliable during disasters.

Prepare Your Property

  • Clear storm drains so they work properly
  • Cut back dead or dying branches
  • Move everything from the backyard – grills, patio furniture and anything else that could become a projectile
  • Board up windows
  • If you have a second floor, move valuables and memorabilia upstairs, if possible

After the Storm

  • Contact Emergency Personnel if Necessary
  • Prevent Further Damage to Your Property
  • Document the Damages
  • Take photos before conducting any emergency repairs
  • Keep a running detailed list of all damaged items
  • File a Claim as Soon as You Can
    • Contact your carrier directly and let them know the extent of the damage.
      • If you are a CorePRO Insurance client, click here for a full list of carrier contact information.
    • An insurance adjuster will then come to your property, assess the damage and determine the amount of your claim that you will receive. These visits are often done on a first come, first serve basis.
  • If your home is uninhabitable – find a safe place to stay while your home is being repaired.
    • The “loss of use” coverage in a standard homeowners policy typically helps pay for your family’s lodging as long as the damage is part of a covered claim. Check your policy or ask your agent to make sure you have this coverage and to determine its monetary value and time limits.