Hurricane season is upon us — are you prepared for torrential rain and strong winds? Here at KW, we believe that preparation is the key to success, which is why we’ve laid out a few important precautions to take before, during, and after a storm to keep you and your loved ones safe.
You can never be too prepared — before a storm is even on the radar, you can take steps to prepare for the unexpected.
- Make a Hurricane Plan — It’s especially important for coastal residents to have an evacuation plan. Identify a shelter and a way to safely get there before a storm warning is issued. Don’t forget to take your pets into account when making this plan!
- Prepare a Survival Kit — Hurricanes often cause loss of power and flooding. Create a survival kit that includes water and non-perishable food for everyone in your family, including your pets. Other items to include are medications, a portable radio, flashlights, batteries, battery-operated chargers for cell phones and other portable electronic devices.
- Consider Flood Insurance — Flood insurance is not included in homeowners or renters policies, but it is an added coverage to consider.
The Calm Before the Storm
Before a hurricane comes your way, it’s important to understand the difference between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning. A warning means a hurricane is expected whereas a watch means it is possible.
The biggest difference between these two is the amount of time you have to prepare for the hurricane. When you know a storm is coming, here are a few steps to take to ensure your home and loved ones are protected.
- Be alert — Stay tuned to local TV and radio for updates regarding the severity of the storm and any instructions to follow.
- Secure objects — Bring outdoor furniture inside to prevent it from being picked up by strong winds. If possible, move gas or charcoal grills inside but do not use them indoors. It is important to note that you should not bring a propane tank indoors — secure it to an object outside and away from your home.
- Cover all windows — Cover your home’s windows with storm shutters or marine plywood. Remember — duct tape will not do the trick.
- Get to a safe location — If you were not informed to evacuate by officials, move your family to a safe location in your home. A basement, small hallway, or closet are the safest spots in your home. Avoid sheltering near windows if possible. The more walls between you and the outside, the better.
- Wait it out — This is one of the most important things to remember. Do not leave your designated safe location until instructed to do so by authorities. A lull in the storm usually does not indicate that it is over — the eye of the storm could be above you, meaning the storm will soon continue.
After the Storm
Even with the best preparation, your home can still sustain unexpected damage from a hurricane. If you were asked to evacuate your home during the storm — wait for authorities to give you the okay to re-enter. Do not enter your home if there is significant structural damage — dial 911 for help.
- Use a flashlight — If you have lost power during the storm and it is dark, use a flashlight. Do not light matches or use candles — an open flame could ignite leaking gas.
- Take photos — It’s important to take photos and document any damage. This will make filing a claim an easier process.
- Wash and disinfect — Start the cleanup process right away by washing and disinfecting anything that touched flood water. Throw away anything that can not be salvaged.
- Talk to us — We know you have been through a lot; let us help with the aftermath. If you have questions about how to file a claim or specific details of your homeowner’s coverage, a KW insurance agent is happy to help.
Our priority is to keep you and your family safe. Hurricanes are serious business, which is why it is necessary to understand what to do in case one is headed your way — protect your family, protect your home.
Here at KW Insurance, we pride ourselves on being wise about insurance. We can discuss all of your insurance needs and answer any questions you have about new or existing policies. You can visit our website or contact us at 781-751-9080 to reach our Dedham office or 617-492-4150 for our Cambridge office.