Benchmark Agency Blog

How to Prepare Your Home for Storms

Whether it is the winter storms in the northern part of the country, tornadoes in the south central and Midwest, or hurricanes along coastal regions, storms affect everyone. Preparing your home for the next big storm is an important part of homeownership.

The American Red Cross has a great checklist of steps you can take to protect your family, home and belongings from storm damage. Here are the highlights:

  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for storm updates from the National Weather Service.
  • Check your disaster supplies and replace or restock as needed.
  • Bring in anything that can be picked up by wind, such as bicycles and patio furniture.
  • Close windows, doors and shutters.
  • Turn the refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep them closed as much as possible.
  • Turn off propane tanks and unplug small appliances.
  • Fill your car’s gas tank.
  • Create and evacuation plan with members of your household.
  • If your community is being evacuated, follow the directions of authorities. Never stay in an evacuated area.

A standard homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover many kinds of storm water damage, including floods. Heavy rains, tropical storms and hurricanes often cause flooding in affected areas. If you live in a location prone to flooding, it may be a good idea to secure flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program. Even those outside known and mapped flood zones can experience water damage from these storms and the NFIP indicates 25 percent of all claims for homes in low- to moderate-risk areas.

You should also review your regular homeowner insurance policy to find out what types of storm-related damage is covered and what is not. Unfortunately, many homeowners do not discover a gap in their coverage until after the storm has passed and the damage is already done. We can help you review your current policy and compare it to coverage from a variety of providers. We are experienced in assisting homeowners mitigate their storm damage risks and finding their clients the best coverage at the most affordable rates. Contact us for help preparing and insuring your home against the next big storm.

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