Hurricane season officially began on June 1st and lasts until November 30th. Florida has recently been spared from serious damage, enjoying several, hurricane free years. But with forecasters predicting an above average season, now is not the time to become complacent. With a bit of forethought and proper planning you can be ready in the event of a busy hurricane season.
Here’s a To-Do List for Hurricane Season –
- Make Necessary Home Repairs – You can minimize rain and wind damage by securing loose shingles, trimming low-hanging or overgrown trees, keeping gutters clean, and sealing any cracks in the home’s exterior and around windows and doors.
If you own a condo, help to protect your neighbor’s home by removing objects and furniture from your patio that can become projectiles during high wind situations.
- Develop a Family Plan – A plan of action that is thought out in advance can help you make clear decisions in the event of an emergency when stress levels may be high. Your family plan should include determining your evacuation route, deciding how soon you will leave after a hurricane warning has been issued, and where you will go. Emergency phone numbers should be handy and out-of-state contacts should be aware of your plans.
Condo residents should inquire about community disaster plans and find out who will be available from the association in the event of an emergency.
- Create a Disaster Supply Kit – Stock non-perishable foods, water, a flashlight, a battery operated radio, and first aid items. Check the NOAA website for additional items for your disaster supply kit.
- Review Your Homeowner’s or Condominium Insurance Policy – Now is the time to review your homeowner’s or condominium insurance policy and ask questions. Keep the following in mind:
Be sure your insurance policy will remain active throughout the storm season. Once a storm has officially been sighted in Florida’s zone and in announced, insurance providers will not write new policies or make any changes to existing homeowner’s insurance.
Whether you have a Florida homeowner’s insurance policy or condominium insurance, it does not automatically provide coverage for wind and flood damage. These are separate policies. Be sure you have a full understanding and are covered for both, especially if you reside in a flood-prone area.
If necessary order an insurance appraisal to comply with FL Statute 718.111. Read more about this statute, along with last year’s changes that were made here.
Know what your deductibles are and if you are covered for loss of use. After a hurricane is not the time to discover problems with your policy.
If you are forced to evacuate, be sure to contact your insurance agent to leave a number where you can be reached.
In the unfortunate event that your home does suffer damage from a hurricane, be sure the contents of your home are thoroughly documented. Take photos or video of storm damage, keep track of temporary repairs, and don’t discard damaged items until your claims adjuster has advised you to do so.
We hope that none of us will need to use our homeowner’s insurance policy during this upcoming hurricane season, but by taking the necessary steps, you will be prepared and ready in advance.
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