Avoiding hurricanes is a lofty goal for those of us in the Louisiana area. Unfortunately, we can be pretty certain that if our house wasn’t hit last year, it probably will be this year. Thankfully, there are things we can do to protect our homes and reduce the damage as much as possible.
Protect yourself and your family first, but have your home ready to go before a storm strikes.
At Three Rivers, we know the worry our customers experience during the busy season, so to make your hurricane preparations easier, we’ve created this handy checklist.
It’s designed to take you in and around your home so you can best review what needs to be done. You may also find it useful for preparing for other heavy storms.
Study Your Insurance and Take Inventory
Let’s start with the big stuff: insurance. You need to know your plan and coverage ahead of time. Otherwise, you may find yourself scrambling around after the damage is done, trying to figure out what’s covered and what’s not.
Be sure to check off the following first:
- Reread your plan
- Look for areas that need updating
- Call your agent to address any questions or confusing terms
- Make sure you have enough coverage to repair and rebuild if necessary
- Update your policy if you’ve recently updated your home
- Review the deductible
Now it’s time to go over everything in your home. Take stock of the following:
- List everything in your home to create a digital inventory
- Take photographs of items
- Categorize belongings
- Include valuables including jewelry and electronics
- Store the information in cloud based system for easy access from anywhere
- Compare belongings with plan coverage
You’ll also want to check out your emergency kit if you have one already (if you don’t, make one!) Replace any missing items or purchase a new one if necessary. Don’t forget the backup chargers, batteries and radio.
Move On to Outside Preparations
Start with the trees and bushes on your property.
- Trim and prune them (This allows them to take more hits from the wind without falling over as easily.)
- Remove or cut back any branches that face your home
- Pick up any debris from the ground and roof
- Secure loose shingles on the roof
- Clean up patio furniture, lawn decorations and toys
- Any large items that must be left outside should be covered and secured with a tarp
Next, move on to your windows, gutters and garage.
- Secure your windows with permanent storm shutters
- Reinforce them with plywood if needed
- Deep clean your gutters and downspouts
- Add a new garage door or reinforce the one you have.
An impact resistant garage door is a good investment. It may reduce the amount of water that enters in the area.
Reviewing the Inside
Your inside preparations are a bit trickier. Depending on the timeline you’re working with, you may be able to pack up as many belongings as possible and bring your valuables with you should you decide to evacuate.
Regardless of whether you’re preparing in advance or working with a shorter amount of time, do the following:
- Deadbolt doors and fix any locks
- Make extra copies of keys
- Turn off and unplug everything
- Make a contacts list
- Organize your personal documents and have everything ready to go
- Buy and pack up water, non-perishable food and clothes
- Check batteries in flashlights
- Have medicine organized for each family member
- Move any items that you can’t take with you to the highest level of your home
Finally, have your home generator ready to go. These low maintenance machines can keep the electricity running during a storm, hurricane or just bad weather. If you do decide to evacuate, if your home hasn’t sustained any severe damage you will be able to return sooner, & it will be much more comfortable with your own power source! To find the generator right for your home, reach out to the team of experts at Three Rivers Air and Heat for a free consultation.