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If you live or own property in a hurricane-prone area, the summer and fall months can be nerve-wracking. The effects can be challenging to navigate, not only during the storm, but after. Below, Realtor® and Broker Associate Susan De León outlines how to protect yourself before storms hit, and discover what you can do to recover if you are left dealing with damage.
Checking Your Coverage
Before you batten down the hatches, it’s important to check your FL homeowners insurance policy. Here’s what you should know.
- Homeowner’s insurance covers some damage, but, as Policygenius notes, you might need to pay a separate deductible if you live in a high-risk area.
- Homeowners insurance rarely provides flood insurance by default.
- Likewise, you might find it’s beneficial to get supplemental windstorm coverage.
- Keep in mind insurance options may differ for investment properties or businesses.
- It’s important for renters to know that Florida landlords are not required to take steps to protect renters against severe weather. If you live in a vulnerable property, you might want to look for alternative housing. There are currently more than 1,700 houses for rent in Orlando.
Preparing Your Home
A lot of damage can be averted if you properly and thoroughly prepare your home and outbuildings. Take steps to protect your property before storms are in the forecast.
- In a pinch, windows can be protected with plywood boards.
- Ygrene points out that investing in hurricane shutters or storm windows might offer more protection.
- Check your roof for durability and stability.
- Don’t forget to secure or remove unanchored play equipment and other yard items.
- For the basement, it helps to get a sump pump and store items in plastic totes.
Weathering the Storm
Also take precautions for your personal safety and the safety of your family and others.
- Make a disaster kit that you can use at home or take with you in the event of evacuation.
- Have an emergency plan so you can communicate with your loved ones.
- Subscribe to national or regional weather alerts so you can act quickly.
- Follow evacuation orders if you’re able to do so. If you can’t, take action to stay safe indoors.
Dealing With the Aftermath
If your home is hit by a hurricane, you’ll need a plan for cleaning up and getting your life back to normal.
- Use extreme caution when returning to home or going outside after the storm.
- File an insurance claim and be sure to document any damage before starting repairs.
- Find and hire professionals that specialize in house window repair near you to fix broken windows or otherwise damaged panes and frames, including door glass.
- Make a plan for removing damaged trees and repairing your home.
If you live or own property in a hurricane-prone area, you know all too well that you can’t control what happens. However, that doesn’t mean you’re helpless. Figuring out how to get your home ready for a storm and learning how to stay safe will leave you in the best position possible in the event a hurricane hits.
Realtor® and Broker Associate Susan De León of Coldwell Banker specializes in first-time home-buyers, relocations from all parts of the United States, retirement downsizing, and all types of properties. Team up with Susan today by calling (850) 449-0647!
Guest Article by Charlotte Meier