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How to Prepare for a Hurricane

As Hurricane Harvey hits the coast of Texas, we are reminded of how dangerous it can be to leave things to the last minute. We start thinking about the worst storms from the past. Andrew, Katrina, and Irene come to mind. Granted, they were all years apart, but when the pudding hits the fan, you focus on the dirty stuff; not on the peaceful stretches of time in between.

This is why it’s imperative to always have a security plan in place. Why wait until you’re stressed out with a million things on your To Do list once a watch becomes a warning? In the words of John F. Kennedy, the time to repair your roof is when the sun is shining. So go grab a notepad and make sure to check off each of the items on this list:

Do you have a contingency plan with your family?

If you live in Clearwater and your adult daughter lives in Riverview, Do you have a way of communicating with each other if the power goes out? Make sure all of you have an external battery pack for your cell phones. When the roads are blocked and power is down, a simple text message can go a long way in giving you peace of mind.

Are you in a high-risk flood zone?

If you don’t know this yet, you need to check ASAP. Check in FEMA’s website. If you don’t get a clear answer, National Flood Experts can help you: Email us your Elevation Certificate and we’ll check for you. You can get a copy from the closing documents from when you purchased your home, or you can request a copy from your insurance agent. If you still can’t find it, email us anyway, and we’ll figure out a way to get it for you.

 Secure everything in your home:

Board up windows, take down awnings, store your boat, place patio furniture in your swimming pool (being submerged will prevent them from blowing away with the wind). Plan for a safe place to park your car if you live in a condominium.

Become familiar with both your home insurance and flood insurance policies:

It’s boring and complicated, and will probably put you to sleep. So if you need assistance, get a highlighter and call your carrier. Ask specific questions related to what’s covered under your policy: would a breaking pipe, cracked windows, or collapsed roof be covered? In fact, call your car insurance carrier as well and ask them what would happen if a tree branch falls on your windshield. Because in our attempts to save money when we buy our policies, sometimes we’re not adequately covered, and it’s not until we need them to pick up the slack that we realize that we’re on our own.

So do your homework now. Don’t take their word as gospel, either. I mentioned the highlighter so that you can ask them to specify where on the policy what they’re stating is located, and you can mark it for easier reference should you file a claim later on.

It’s hurricane season. We live in Florida. Don’t be that person who takes it in stride until it’s too late to act. And if you think you can rest easier because your neighborhood never floods, contact us anyway to see if we can get you out of having to paid for flood insurance. We’ll check for free. One way or the other, National Flood Experts is here to help you.

 

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