With the official start of Hurricane Season a month away, there is no time like the present to start preparing your home for a hurricane or tropical storm. As we have seen in the past few seasons, it only takes one storm to cause devastation and millions in damages. With the prediction of another active and "above-average" season this year, we would like to provide some simple tips you can follow to protect your home during hurricane season:
Conduct a Home Inspection
Is your home ready for a natural disaster? Consider conducting a home inspection before Hurricane Season approaches to ensure the safety of you, your home, and your belongings. Conducting a home inspection is quite simple, all you need to do is check for damage such as cracks, leaks, and breaks in the interior and exterior of your home. Should areas of your home need repair, fix them as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
Install Hurricane Shutters
If you hear the news of a hurricane or tropical storm approaching, installing hurricane shutters to your windows can be beneficial. If a window in your home is broken during a hurricane, it can expose the inside of your house to excessive winds and rain, and potentially lift the roof from below. If you do not currently own shutters, now is a good time to get some estimates and purchase them from local vendors and hardware stores. Waiting until the last minute to purchase items such as shutters can be costly, or inventory may be very low. If you currently own shutters, be sure to place them in an area in reach and inspect them for damages. Should you need to install your shutters, be sure to do so safely.
Hurricane-Proof Your Roof
Roofs can be vulnerable to hurricane damage due to heavy rains and wind. Taking a few steps to strengthen your roof before a hurricane is recommended, especially if it is older. Be sure to inspect your roof for cracks and damages and have it fixed as soon as possible to avoid further damages from a storm.
Clean Your Gutters
Cleaning your gutters before a hurricane is vital. Why? If your gutters are clogged by leaves and debris, they won't be able to redirect water during a hurricane. Clear them to prevent roof damage and flooding inside your home.
Have Supplies Stocked
Make sure you stay stocked up in anticipation of hurricane season. Ensure you have enough water, food, and other essentials to stay healthy and comfortable should you lose power or access to local stores in your area.
Clear Your Yard
Hurricane winds can be extremely dangerous, and can be strong enough to pick up objects such as lawn chairs, garbage cans, wood, metal, bicycles, barbeque grills, etc. These winds can send these objects flying into your car and home. Before a hurricane strikes, remove these types of outdoor objects and bring them inside. Should you have trees near your home be sure to trim limbs often and remove any large trees which may show signs of decay or damage.
Review Your Homeowners Insurance Policy:
Now is also a great time to review and update your homeowners insurance if necessary to be sure you have adequate coverage should the unexpected occur. Remember, flood coverage is not included within your standard homeowners policy, it is important to determine if you need flood insurance prior to Hurricane Season. Luckily, Edison Insurance Company offers a certified flood endorsement which allows eligible policyholders to secure flood insurance coverage up to a selected amount, eliminating the need for a standalone flood policy. Should you have any questions about your policy and coverages, please contact your agent or call us at 866-568-8922 for assistance.
It is important to keep in mind, these procedures should be taken well in advance of a hurricane, not a few hours before. Should catastrophe strike, Edison Insurance Company stands ready to assist you. In the event of a loss, you may report your claim online or by calling our claims hotline at 888-683-7971.