Hurricane Season: What You Should be Doing Before and After Extreme Weather Hits
June 1st marks the beginning of hurricane season. This is extremely important to know since these storms tend to form over the Gulf of Mexico off of the coast of Texas. If you regularly tune into the evening news, then you’ve more than likely witnessed the destructive power of these storms around this time of year in the past.
Although it’s been some time since a serious storm has hit Texas, it can happen at any time during this weather season. If you own hurricane insurance, then you’ve already made the most important step in securing that your property is taken care of. If not, then know that Shepard Walton King can help you find the right policy today.
An insurance policy that covers hurricane and flood damage is something that all homeowners living near the Gulf of Mexico in Texas should own. Imagine such a storm striking your area with high winds and large amounts of rain. Collapsed roofs, shattered windows, flooding and other damages caused by flying debris are common with hurricanes. These could all result in thousands of dollars in damages to your home and property.
With an insurance policy, damages can be covered but certain limits may apply and certain damages may not be covered at all, which is why it’s important that you get in touch with us immediately to learn more about hurricane coverage.
Stay Informed and Be Prepared
If weather or news reports reveal that a hurricane strike is likely to occur in your area, then you should prepare immediately. Although there’s no winning against Mother Nature, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that damages are less severe and injuries won’t be serious. This includes:
- Stocking up on water, batteries, food and medical supplies – Electricity will most likely be lost during and after a hurricane for hours or even days. Be sure to have batteries for a radio to know what’s going on in your area. Bottled water will also be needed since water mains may also be out. Canned food will compensate for food lost in your refrigerator due to power outages and medical supplies can help with cuts or scratches caused by flying debris. (Note: if serious injuries occur during a storm, dial 911 immediately.)
- Boarding or covering windows – Flying debris is a given during high winds in a hurricane. Board up your windows if possible with plywood or cover them with heavy tarps. This can help prevent damage from flying debris.
- Storing anything that could be a hazard away – This includes outdoor furniture, hanging ornaments, etc. Store these away in a garage or brace them with rope or in boxes if possible.
- Trimming tree branches – Tree branches can break loose in high winds or become weighed down by rainwater, causing them to snap and fall. If you can, trim them. If not, be sure to avoid parking underneath low-hanging branches to prevent damage to your vehicle.
So a hurricane struck your area and has now passed. What comes next? If your home has suffered damages, then you’ll want to keep a record of it all. Jot down everything that you see and snap and record as many detailed photos and videos as you can of roof damages, broken windows, flooding within the home and damaged personal belongings. Be sure to keep all of these records together and secure. Have your insurer go over all of this information and be sure not to discard any damaged items until an insurance adjuster has examined them.
Reporting Them to Your Insurer
The first thing you’ll want to do after a storm is report the damages to your insurer with a homeowners insurance claim. Keep in mind that your insurer will most likely be inundated with calls from other individuals in your area reporting their situations. If this is the case, then patience is key. Reach out to your insurer at a later time if getting through to them is proving to be difficult.
Prevent Further Damages with Basic Repairs
When dealing with damages to your home, you’ll more than likely want for repairs to commence, even if this means doing so without your insurer’s help. Avoid doing this at all costs. If anything, make small, temporary repairs such as:
- Sweeping up broken glass.
- Temporarily sealing roof leaks.
- Draining rainwater from flooded indoor areas.
- Boarding up broken windows.
- Using tarps or plywood to cover roof holes.
Remember to also photograph damages prior to patching them up and give these to your insurance adjuster. Also, collect all receipts of purchased materials that were used to make these temporary repairs. These costs can be reimbursed to you after your insurance claim has been settled.
Our Advice to You
Shepard Walton King’s Vice President, Chris Graham, fully understands the issues that homeowners face in dealing with hurricane damages. He went on record to say, “Since June 1st marks the first day of hurricane season, it’s very important for homeowners to be insured and aware of their deductibles. Also be sure to have a disaster plan ready. This can include a list of emergency contacts, a meeting place near your home or out of town in case you and your family become separated and an evacuation route if you decide not to wait out the storm. Be sure to also have birth certificates, financial records and your insurance policies stowed away in a safe or other location where they won’t be lost.”
Get Covered Today
Don’t be left covering hurricane damage costs on your own. Repairs can total thousands of dollars and may take months to repair. Our insurance agency in McAllen can help you find policies of different types. If you don’t have a homeowners insurance policy but need one to prepare for hurricane season, then contact us today to get started.
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