Hurricanes are, unfortunately, a tradeoff to living in paradise. As a Florida-based home insurance company, we often get asked questions like, how do I prepare my home for hurricanes, and should I change any of my coverages in advance? We’ve got answers and resources you can use to ensure your home, your family, and you are prepared for whatever this hurricane season brings.
As you may know, the Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1 and lasts until November 30. Meteorologists state the peak of hurricane season is in September. But don’t wait that long to make sure you have everything ready.
Here are five things you can do to prepare before hurricane season begins or before a storm comes our way.
1. Check your policy coverage limits and confirm you're accurately covered.
Did you call your agent this year and learn what’s in your policy? According to Property Casualty, only 9% of policyholders adjusted their coverage to account for inflation, and in the last year, only 44% reviewed their homeowner’s policy. Contact your agent to ensure you understand your coverage, assess your coverage limits, and make any endorsements. We also suggest you make copies of your insurance documents and take them digitally or in a waterproof container in case of an evacuation.
2. Do you have flood insurance?
According to FEMA, more than 46,000 policyholders filed flood claims following Hurricane Ian’s landfall. At Monarch, we provide flood coverage from National Flood Services (NFS). Any place in Florida can flood – we strongly recommend all Floridians get flood insurance. The cost of flood can be astronomical. For instance, just 1 inch of water can cost $25,000! If you don’t have flood coverage, contact your agent to get an NFS policy today.
3. Have a Plan Ready and Know Your Evacuation Routes.
Do you know your zone? Visit FloridaDisaster.org to get yourself familiar with evacuation zones and view the map. When planning, make sure you have alternatives as well. Tell your family in advance so everyone is aware of what may happen in the event of an evacuation. Don’t forget to add contacting school, work, or daycare to your plans.
4. Gather Supplies and Get an Emergency Kit Ready.
We have a hurricane preparedness checklist that lists items we suggest adding to your emergency kit. This kit should include items, like non-perishable food, food items for your pets, first aid materials, water, medications, cleaning supplies, and flashlights. We strongly suggest you grab these items in advance, as there will be a run for them when a storm is heading our way. Visit Ready.Gov for additional items to add to your kit.
5. Prep Your Home.
Some home maintenance before a storm can save you a headache and your wallet. Cleaning drain pipes, cutting overhanging tree limbs, and cutting down dead trees will help strengthen your home. In addition to home maintenance, we also suggest considering getting hurricane shutters so you can breathe a sigh of relief. Another thing to remember is to make a home inventory list of all your personal belongings. If a disaster should strike and ruins your belongings, you have a record of what they are, their cost, and when you bought them. Several mobile apps can make this process easier – we recommend Sortly!
Are you looking for more resources?
There are plenty of resources out there. Here are some of the best websites we suggest. Additionally, some, like FEMA or the Red Cross, will have resources posted after the storm.
Want to Stay Up-To-Date?
Are you looking for a way to stay up-to-date and receive notifications directly on your mobile device? A few apps are available where you can track hurricanes or tropical storms. These will provide you with alerts and help you locate local shelters. Here are a few we suggest: