Determine risks to home before a storm hits

Hurricane preparedness

Atlantic Hurricane Season began June 1, and forecasters are predicting 13 named tropical storms, of which they expect five to reach hurricane status.
Brightway Insurance offers these tips to everyone living along the Atlantic seaboard and the Gulf of Mexico.
Print and store important insurance information and documents in a plastic zip bag, so you have it ready to go in the event you are asked to evacuate. In addition to your policy number, include the name of the insurance carrier, the telephone number to report claims and the Web site. For recommendations on preparing documents, see the Emergency Financial Preparedness toolkit published by Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, Jimmy Patronis.
Look at your home to determine risks and take action now to mitigate those risks, such as removing dead tree limbs, ensuring drainage ditches are clear and checking the roof for loose shingles.
Develop an evacuation plan for your family and build a disaster supply kit now that will enable you to live without power or water for several days. Basics include a first aid kit, potable water, non-perishable food, non-electric can opener, flashlights and batteries. A portable generator may be a good investment, too, but be sure to read the instructions to avoid electric shock. If your community provides text or email alerts about weather events, sign up to receive real-time weather and traffic updates. Visit www.ready.gov for additional recommendations on how to prepare for a hurricane.
Standard Homeowners policies don’t cover flooding. Your Homeowners policy probably covers water damage from household mishaps such as a burst pipe, sump or sewer backup, or an overflowing bathtub. It doesn’t cover damage to your home caused by floods or mudslides.
Flood insurance is the only way to get coverage against a coastal storm surge, a river overflowing its banks, failure of a dam or levee, or any other weather-related event. That coverage is provided by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
NFIP’s Web site, www.floodsmart.gov, can help you understand your flood risk and provides a wealth of information, including a mapping tool showing whether your property is in a high-risk area.

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