What do I need to do to prepare early?

Thorough planning and preparation are the keys to weathering a storm as safely as possible. Early and thorough emergency preparation will also help you protect your family and property and minimize your risk of injury or property damage.

Insurance Inventory

Inventory information should include values for each insured item as well as date of purchase and serial number.  Ask yourself these two important questions BEFORE hurricane season begins - Do I have enough insurance? Is it the right kind of insurance?  Having appropriate insurance helps you recover from a disaster by minimizing your losses.  Review your current policies with your insurance agent.  There are four types of property insurance on the market today:

  • Homeowners Insurance: usually covers losses caused by wind, storm, and broken water pipes. Flooding is NOT covered.
  • Wind and Hail Insurance: covers losses due to storm winds in coastal areas. This coverage may be available from insurance providers if it is not included in your basic homeowner's policy.
  • Flood Insurance: policy is underwritten by National Flood Insurance Program and is available to those communities that adopt and enforce floodplain management regulations.  There is a 30-day waiting period before this policy is activated so don't wait until a storm is in the Gulf before obtaining flood insurance.
  • Renters Insurance: both property and flood insurance coverage for contents is available for those who live in rental units. Contact your insurance agent for details.

Important Paper Inventory

Gather up copies of your family's important paperwork and store them in a secure location that will be well within reach if you have to locate them quickly.  Consider including copies of the following for each family member:

  • Driver's license
  • Vehicle registration and proof of insurance
  • Insurance policies, including life, health, and property
  • Medical and vaccination records
  • Copies of prescription medicine labels
  • Birth and marriage certificates
  • Tax and other important business and personal records
  • Veterinary and vaccination records for pets and livestock

Family Preparedness Plan

By the time hurricane season starts, your family should have already begun the process of planning for a hurricane emergency.

  • Start now to create an inventory of your property and personal possessions.  Use photos, videotapes, and/or receipts.  These are important to recover your losses after a disaster.
  • Identify potential indoor hazards that can cause damage or injury.  This includes anything that can move, fall, break or cause a fire.
  • Teach responsible family members how to turn off utility connections at the source to minimize potential problems and hazards.
  • Maintain trees by trimming and pruning.  Large or diseased trees next to your home should be removed.  The key is periodic inspection and tree maintenance.
  • Be prepared to sustain you and your family away from home for several days, or in a worst case scenario, several weeks or even months.


Close Window