St Augustine’s and the Florida Keys’ Premier Boutique Independent Insurance Agency presents some tips in preparing your home and vehicles for hurricane season and potential flooding. There is much more work to be done than just having your Homeowner’s Insurance and Flood Insurance policies in place.
Check your Homeowner’s Insurance, Flood Insurance & other tips
You have to know that, since this is an insurance agency’s blog that our First tip is to:
***Check your homeowner’s insurance coverage. Most homeowners insurance policies exclude damage caused by flooding. Contact your trusted insurance agent and ask if your home is covered. If you do not have a flood insurance policy, you do have options. One thing to keep in mind is that it is important to plan ahead. Flood insurance policies issued by the NFIP have a 30 day waiting period. Seaman’s Insurance Group also offers another option, Private Flood Insurance which has a shorter waiting period and could be considerably less expensive than the Federal Flood Insurance (NFIP).
Here are some other tips to help you prepare for hurricanes and floods:
-Reinforce your garage doors in order to potentially help them withstand high winds. Your insurance agent will thank you when you don’t call in a claim for your garage doors having been blown in.
-Inspect your trees and landscaping. Look for things that might become airborne and potentially damage your home, your neighbors’ homes or even you or your neighbors should it become airborne or a wind hazard, and remove/secure those items. Things to look for include, weak or dead tree branches, or branches overhanging your home.
-Also, move items that you normally keep outside, somewhere safe (maybe behind that reinforced garage door that we mentioned above). So, items like your grills, patio furniture, potted plants or anything else (garden gnomes) in order to keep them from also becoming flying (or floating in the case of a flood) debris.
– Turn off Electricity at the main circuit breaker to protect appliances from power surges, and to reduce the risk of injury from live wires that may be dangling after the storm.
-If you happen to have natural or propane gas, be sure to turn it off at the tank or at the meter.
-If you are planning to evacuate, remove perishables from your refrigerator.
-If you are evacuating, make a final walk-through inspection before leaving.
Preparing your vehicles during Hurricane and Flood season
-Most people don’t think about keeping their vehicles in an “Evacuation Ready” Condition. We know many people that won’t put gas in their car until their vehicle’s dummy light comes on (hey dummy you are almost out of gas), or until the vehicle dings at them alerting them to the fact that they are almost out of gas… if you are like I am… guilty as charged. During this time of year it is imperative that you try to remember to refuel when your tank is half empty (I prefer to think of my tank as being half full).
-Check your fluid levels, tires and make sure your spare tire is in good shape and has air in it. Also, be sure you know how to get your spare out of its hiding space and have a jack and lug wrench.
-Keep a Kit in your vehicle with things like coolant, oil, and water in it.
-Keep another kit which may include water, non-perishable food, flashlight, batteries, maybe blankets and life vests for all of your passengers. We have kids and keep life vests in the car (mainly because they aren’t all great swimmers and since we live in Florida, we are always going to the pool or swimming elsewhere) just in case you get stranded.
-Plan to take just 1 vehicle per household if possible. This will help keep families together and will also help to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
-If traveling with children, make sure you pack items to keep them entertained and calm… don’t forget to grab their favorite stuffed animal… you know, that ratty looking unicorn whose horn has been torn off and put back on dozens of times after the poor child cried and screamed like it was the end of the world each time it came off (thank goodness for grandmothers that can sew).
-If traveling with someone with special needs or the elderly, be sure to bring enough medication, oxygen or whatever else might be needed since travel can be very slow during evacuation.
Contact your Trusted St Augustine and Florida Keys Premier Boutique Independent Insurance Agency for all of you insurance needs TODAY!