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Hurricane Season Prep - Installment #1

Tuesday June 04, 2019 03:00 pm

FloodSafe Minute

Hurricane Season Preparations.

First Installment

As we prepare for hurricane season, we are also facing threats from other flooding both manmade and natural.  This is the time to take steps to prepare for these events, whatever the cause.  Many families think of their evacuation kits, and stocking up for bbqs when they return from evacuation.  These are critical to being prepared.  We need to focus on our personal safety and that of our pets, friends and family.  When a call for evacuation comes, we need to be ready to leave, and have all of the documents and supplies we will need at the ready.  It can be expensive to put it all together at once, so preparing over time in advance can be a great option.  For more information go to

It is equally important to be sure that your insurance is in place, and that you are ready to make a claim.  Take a moment to be sure that you have the insurance coverage you need to build back if your home is flooded.

Ask yourself the following questions for a start:

  1. Do you have flood insurance? Home owner’s insurance doesn’t cover flood damage.
  2. Does your flood insurance cover the contents of your home or business?
  3. Do you know what you own?  It can be difficult to get paid for contents when there is no real inventory of the contents of the structure.  Unless you are bringing all your receipts during evacuation to keep that record, how would you prove your damages?  If it is too difficult or time consuming to document a list by hand or on your computer, think of taking a video.

Most people have a phone that can take a video.  Walk through the house talking through what you see trying to add when you bought it, where, and the cost if you can remember.  A list prepared in advance and emailed to yourself for safe keeping is better, but a video is more accepted by the adjuster than trying to prove something from memory.  This process can also help you decide if you have enough insurance to replace what you have if these items are lost.

  1. Did you know that homeowner’s insurance can help you lift a storm damaged house?

Ask your homeowner policy carrier about “Ordinance and Law Coverage.” This helps people make code upgrades (including foundation elevation) after an event if required by law.

Prepare your Property Now, Too

If an evacuation or high winds are anticipated, how are you planning to secure your house?  Make a plan to purchase or store materials that are the right size to protect your windows and doors.  Broken windows and doors can change the pressure in a house and have led to roof failure.  Clips and attachments can take time and be expensive, so it is best to plan ahead.

Take precautions against flood water.  Keep gutters, drains, and ditches clear.  Never blow lawn trimmings down the storm drain.  Plan for how you will secure outdoor furniture and sports equipment as well.   Neighborhoods can be flooded due to a ball blocking a culvert downstream.  Furniture and pots can also become airborne in high winds or get washed away breaking windows and blocking drains.  Make a plan for where you can store them or how to restrain these items safely.