Before the storm:
1. Stock up conservatively on gas, propane, batteries and food prior to hurricane season. When a storm approaches, the stores and gas stations start seeing supply problems days or weeks before the storms. Stay stocked up on necessities and you won’t need to participate in the melee.
2. Check your generator and ensure it’s running well. Do not put generator within 30 feet of home, in garage or near windows.
3. Check the hardware on shutters. Dirt, bugs and rusted hardware can make the job of putting up your shutters a nightmare. The time to inspect your shutters is before a storm approaches.
4. Take overview photos of each room of your home and the exterior with your phone.
5. Locate your current insurance policy and important papers. Be aware of your deductible and coverages
6. Purchase a digital antenna. Cable is usually the 1st thing that goes out during a storm. You need access to news to stay safe.
7. Have portable phone chargers handy and fully charged.
After the storm:
1. Do not walk or drive through standing water. Most hurricane related deaths occur after the storm. Downed power lines, wildlife, bacteria and sewage may be lurking in that puddle
2. When outside be aware that snakes, rodents and fire ants may have lost their home and may have relocated to your yard
3. Use up any leftover gas. Do not leave gas in your generator. Gas goes bad after a few months
4. Be wary of repair companies that knock on your door. Try and go with a company referred by someone who has had prior work done by them.
5. Keep good records and photos. If you have anyone do work on your home, have them provide a written detailed invoice with license number.
6. If you have sustained wind damage, call your insurance company. Unless you have catastrophic damage, I would advise waiting a week or so to call them. The 1st few thousand claims are usually handled by ‘CAT’ adjusters who may be new or not used to handling claims on a daily basis. During the days after the storm the insurance companies are also putting their staff in place and many of them also have been impacted by the storm.
7. Do not leave your shutters up. A lot of people die every year because they can’t escape if there is a fire. It is also an invitation to crooks who look for vacant or boarded up houses to rob.
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