As we get closer to the end of hurricane season, it seems as though this is the time when the number of storms increase. As we are facing Hurricane Isaac bringing rain to South Carolina, we felt it imperative to post some helpful tips in preparing for the possibility of a hurricane or needing to evacuate your home.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th
The biggest steps towards preparing for hurricane season include a thorough insurance review and developing an emergency plan.
Here is some helpful information to make sure you’re prepared this hurricane season:
Talk to your agent or company to update, ask questions, and make sure you have the right coverage’s and deductibles in place to protect against a loss.
• Flood insurance is not included in a basic homeowner’s policy. Floods (including storm surge brought on by hurricanes) are the most common natural disaster in the U.S. Since the whole state is susceptible to flooding, the S.C. Insurance News Service encourages everyone to consider purchasing flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program.
• In the event coverage is unavailable through the private market, some coastal residents may need to obtain separate wind and hail coverage through the South Carolina Wind and Hail Underwriting Association (SCWHUA).
• A deductible is the amount of loss paid by the policyholder before insurance kicks in. Different insurance companies offer different types of deductibles. Percentage deductibles can range from 1 percent to 10 percent and your policy may contain more than one deductible. For example, your standard homeowners’ policy deductible may be $1,000, but you might have a 2 percent wind deductible.
• A home inventory is a great way to ensure you have adequate coverage for your home’s contents. A home inventory is a list of all your personal possessions and their estimated value. To help with the process, free “Know Your Stuff – Home Inventory Software” is available through the Insurance Information Institute at http://www.scinsurance.net./
Have a plan in place if a storm is threatening and evacuations have been ordered.
• Prepare the exterior of your home and yard if strong winds and water are imminent. Nail any loose shingles or boards, and cover windows with plywood or storm shutters. Bring lawn furniture, potted plants, garbage cans, grills and outdoor decorative items into the garage. Cut weak limbs and those overhanging a structure and remove yard debris.
• Decide ahead of time where you’ll go if an evacuation order is issued, and have more than one alternative – the home of a friend or family member, a hotel, a shelter. Be sure to listen to NOAA Weather Radio or local radio and TV stations for evacuation information and instructions.
• Plan what to take with you. Disaster kits should include prescriptions, bottled water, clothing, flashlights, a battery-powered radio, batteries, items needed for pets, insurance policies, your home inventory, passports/drivers licenses/ID cards, birth and marriage certificates, and bank account numbers and other financial information.