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Fall 2018  Volume 14, Number 3        
 

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Is Your Home Ready for Windstorm Season?

Hurricane activity peaks in the fall, but severe windstorms can occur at any time of year. The following pointers can help you protect your property.

  • Know your surroundings.
  • Learn the elevation level of your property and whether the land is flood-prone. This will help you know how your property will be affected when storm surge or tidal flooding are forecasted.
  • Identify levees and dams in your area and determine whether they pose a hazard.
  • Make plans to secure your property:
  • Cover all of your home's windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8" exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Another year-round option would be installation of laminated glass with impact-resistant glazing. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
  • Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
  • Be sure trees and shrubs around your home are well trimmed so they are more wind resistant.
  • Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Reinforce your garage doors; if wind enters a garage it can cause dangerous and expensive structural damage.
  • Bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • Determine how and where to secure your boat.
  • Install a generator for emergencies.
  • If in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on a lower floor and in a small interior room without windows when it’s windy. Wind conditions increase with height. When flooding may be occurring, be prepared to take shelter on a floor safely above the flooding and wave effects.
  • Consider building a safe room.

After a hurricane or windstorm:

  • If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
  • If you cannot return home and have immediate housing needs, text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area. FEMA also offers assistance for those who have longer-term housing needs.
  • Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges. Stay off the streets. If you must go out watch for fallen objects; downed electrical wires; and weakened walls, bridges, roads and sidewalks.
  • Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
  • Walk carefully around the outside of your home and check for loose power lines, gas leaks and structural damage before entering.
  • Stay out of any building if you smell gas, floodwaters remain around the building or your home was damaged by fire and the authorities have not declared it safe.
  • Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes. If you have any doubts about safety, have your residence inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before entering.
  • Use battery-powered flashlights in the dark. Do NOT use candles. Note: The flashlight should be turned on outside before entering — the battery may produce a spark that could ignite leaking gas, if present.
  • Watch your pets closely and keep them under your direct control. Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes. Use a stick to poke through debris.
  • Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it's not contaminated.
  • Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.
  • Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.
  • Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
  • NEVER use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off.

Hurricanes cause heavy rains that can cause extensive flood damage in coastal and inland areas. Everyone is at risk and should consider flood insurance protection.

The standard homeowners policy covers windstorm damage (except in certain high-risk coastal areas), but it excludes coverage for flood. Flood insurance, underwritten by the National Flood Insurance Program, is the only way to financially protect your property or business from flood damage. We can provide more information on coverage for windstorm and flood. Please contact us for more information.

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In this issue:

This Just In...

Hot-Car Deaths on the Rise

How to Make an Insurance Claim

Is Your Home Ready for Windstorm Season?

What Is a Mortgage or Lenders Loss Payable Endorsement?

 

 


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