Hurricane season officially begins in June and, after a couple quieter than usual seasons, weather experts are predicting that hurricane activity could be average to a little above average this year. It’s important to know what to do in case a hurricane is predicted in your area. Long & Foster Insurance, a leading independent insurance agency that represents many of the nation’s top rated insurance companies, offers the following recommendations for what to do before, during and after a hurricane, as well as what to remember if you have to file a claim.
What to do before a hurricane
- Refill prescriptions, purchase bottled water, fill your car’s gas tank and withdraw a week’s worth of cash, as power outages may temporarily interrupt services
- Store valuable papers and items in waterproof bags or safety deposit boxes, including your insurance policies
- Cover windows and secure any outdoor items
- Evacuate immediately if you are told to do so
- Tune into a battery-operated radio or TV and follow local authorities’ instructions
What to do during a hurricane
- Seek shelter in an interior room away from windows, such as a bathroom or closet
- Use a battery-operated flashlight or lantern if the power goes out—do not use candles
- Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances
What to do after a hurricane
- Stay inside until local authorities issue the all-clear
- Use caution when inspecting your home for damage, making sure to wear sturdy shoes and protective clothing
- Drink only bottled water until tap water is determined safe
What to do when filing a claim
- Contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Many post their 24-hour claims phone number on their policies
- Photograph all damage. Do not attempt to alter the damage unless it is to prevent further damage.
- Keep a copy of all receipts if you need to stay in a hotel or incur other unexpected expenses
Long & Foster Insurance also encourages homeowners to review their insurance policies now to make sure they have adequate coverage. For example, if you’ve made any improvements to your home, you’ll want to ensure your insurance coverage accounts for those upgrades. Your insurance agent should be able to provide you with a complimentary review, and feel free to visit www.LongandFoster.com/Insurance for more information.