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Homeowners Insurance

Hurricane Preparedness Tips

Hurricanes can be unpredictable, powerful, and devastating – but they don't have to catch you off guard. Having the right information and taking needed precautions ahead of time can make a world of a difference.

The following hurricane preparedness tips can help you and your loved ones weather the storm – and can help replace feelings of panic with confidence as you prepare. From simple steps like securing your home to packing an essential survival kit, we’ve got you covered.

Ready to show the next hurricane who’s boss? Read on.

Get Ready for the Storm

Preventing hurricane damage begins long before the first storm passes through. There are many things you can do to secure your house and belongings to help keep you, your loved ones, and your home safe and sound throughout hurricane season in Florida.

Home Preparation

Do you have what you need to secure your windows and doors?  Should you have storm panels, make sure you have all the panels for each opening of your home – including the front door and the screws and tap-cons to secure them.  If you don’t already have these necessary items stock up now – it’ll save you a frantic trip later, in the chaotic days before a storm makes landfall.  If you chose to use plywood to cover your windows, it’s important to note plywood is not a code approved method and is far less effective than steel or aluminum storm shutters.  

Does your roof have all the latest protective devices? Hurricane straps, bracing, and other measures may help – and may not require a full renovation of your existing roof. Always use licensed and qualified roofers or contractors and begin with a wind mitigation inspection, which can identify vulnerabilities in and around your home. Doing so could also mean a discount on your homeowners insurance premium. You may even qualify for a free home hurricane inspection through the state-backed My Safe Florida Home program.

Don’t forget to trim tree branches and keep drains and gutters free of debris.

Know Where Your Important Documents Are

Important documents, like social security cards, birth certificates, insurance policies, property deeds, and more should be kept in a waterproof container – such as an airtight, zip-close bag. This can serve double duty, making it easy to take these documents with you, should you need to evacuate prior to a storm or leave a damaged home afterward.

Are You Sufficiently Insured?

Don’t just worry about the cost of repairing and rebuilding should the worst occur this hurricane season – do something about it! Make sure you have the right type and amount of home insurance coverage. For example:

• Will your homeowners policy cover the full replacement cost of your home, or just its current market value?

• If you’re a renter or condo owner, are your belongings and other property adequately covered?

• Are you worried about potential damage from rising water? Flood insurance can offer much-needed protection for Florida homeowners – especially since standard homeowner’s policies do not cover flood-related damage.

You’ll want to talk with one of our insurance agents  to discuss these and other factors, such as payout limits, deductible amounts, as well as any discounts you’re entitled to. Remember to mention any improvements or renovations you’ve made to your home over the years.

Have a Plan & Hurricane Preparedness Kit

Whether you plan to ride out the storm or head toward dryer ground, you’ll need a plan. It should identify where you’ll go if you need to evacuate as well as what to do before, during, and after the storm. A communication plan is also essential, should you and your loved ones get separated along the way.

A hurricane preparedness kit is something to keep handy in the house if you’re hunkering down during the storm or can be taken to go, should you have to leave. It should include all the usual suspects: water, nonperishable food (e.g., shelf-stable items like peanut butter, cereal, protein bars, dried fruit and nuts, crackers, and canned goods), battery-powered or hand crank radio, can opener, flashlight, first aid kit, cash, extra batteries, and any medications or other supplies needed for family members or pets. Here is a helpful disaster supply kit checklist of items you may want to consider including.  

Stay Informed

It’s important to pay attention to the tropical weather forecasts, especially whenever a potential new development is noted by NOAA’s National Hurricane Center. In addition, many news organizations will have online storm trackers or apps you can keep handy on your phone.

By paying attention to storm forecasts throughout the year, you get the earliest possible notice of a potential storm, giving you precious extra time to prepare, should you need it. The National Hurricane Center, for example, has increased its graphical tropical weather outlook from 5 to 7 days’ notice of weather disturbances.

Hurricane Preparedness Saves Lives & Homes

Living in Florida has many advantages – and for many of us, those upsides are well worth the price of dealing with potential hurricanes and tropical storms. Hurricane preparedness includes making sure your home is properly protected.

At The Windward Insurance Agency, we can help you find the right insurance coverage, including flood insurance, to protect you and your family this hurricane season. It’s important to act now because certain restrictions come into play once a storm appears on the horizon. Whatever your insurance needs, we can help you navigate all your insurance options. Get a quote now or call us at (866) 231-2433 for assistance.