Home Insurance Preparing for a Weather Emergency
Texas home owners already have lots to worry about when it comes to being a home owner without having to think about storm damage. Even though your rates are protected from increase due to weather related damage, Texas home insurance policies are already some of the highest in the nation.
Face it. Everyone wants to save money on their home insurance policy. If you have to file a claim on your home insurance policy, the insurance company will take care of you, but what should you do before the storm, during the storm, and after the storm?
The following tips will help prepare you in case of a major storm:
What to do Before a Storm
Protect Your Property
- Ensure that your property is protected to the fullest extent possible:
- Install storm shutters in wind-prone areas.
- Secure or store outdoor furniture and loose items.
- Trim tree branches that are close to the structure; remove dead trees or limbs.
- Reinforce garage doors.
- Inspect and replace caulking and weather stripping around doors and windows.
- Be sure you have a copy of your insurance policy and an inventory of the property and contents in a safe place.
Protect Yourself and your Family
- Be sure you have these items on hand:
- Battery-operated radio and flashlights with fresh batteries.
- Supply of bottled water and non-perishable food.
- Blankets and clothing.
- First aid kit and any necessary prescription medications.
- If you’re in an area prone to power outages, consider purchasing an auxiliary generator.
- Familiarize yourself with evacuation routes, and if asked to evacuate, do so.
- Be certain your car is in good working order and the tank is full.
After a Storm
- Make sure all family members are safe. Listen to the radio for public service announcements. If evacuated, do not return to your home until authorized to do so. If at home, wait for the “all clear” announcement before venturing outside.
- Don’t touch downed power lines; assume they are live no matter how long they have been down.
- Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas, leave immediately and call the utility company from a neighbor’s house.
- Don’t try to move large trees or branches that have fallen on your home. You could hurt yourself and possibly increase the damage to your home.
- Cover broken windows or holes in walls or roofs to prevent further damage.