Get ready — it could be a wild year for hurricanes. The 2013 hurricane season is expected to be severe, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NOAA predicts seven to 11 hurricanes; a typical year has six.
Nobody wants to see another destructive Hurricane Sandy, but it makes sense to be as prepared as possible to protect your family and home. Here’s an overview to help you get ready just in case a storm hits close to home.
Create a Home Emergency Preparedness Kit
You should always have a home emergency kit in case you lose power and have to hunker down in your home for awhile. Items in a home emergency kit should include:
Pack a Grab-and-Go Bag
In case you have to evacuate quickly, having a pack-and-go bag will save you time and headaches. Include essentials such as:
• Prescription and over-the-counter medicines
• A change of clothes for each family member
• A backup drive from your computer
• A copy of your home inventory
• A flash drive with copies of important documents such as insurance papers, birth certificates, deeds, tax returns, passports, and driver’s licenses
Make a Home Inventory
If the worst should happen and your home is destroyed or severely damaged, you’ll have problems filing your claim if you don’t have a home inventory. Having a checklist of items with serial numbers, brands, quantities, and estimated values will make the claim process much easier.
To be doubly sure, take pictures and/or videos of your possessions. Those photos will serve as proof to your insurance adjuster that you did possess those items. Be sure to create duplicates of your checklist, photos, and videos to store online or in a safety deposit box — and as part of your grab-and-go bag.
Check Your Insurance for Adequate Coverage
Does your policy have any restrictions on wind and water damage? Many policies do. And almost all policies exclude damage resulting from floodwaters. If your home is in a high-risk area, you should probably consider flood insurance and check the price and availability of coverage for hurricanes, too.
Don’t forget to trim up your trees and shrubs to make them less vulnerable to all summer storms. Also, check to see if your sump pump is working. Replace it if it isn’t.