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Preparing Your Home for the 2022 Storm Season

picture of strong winds blowing against trees

Did you know? If you live in one of the following states, you are 5x times more likely to have to file a storm damage insurance claim this season:

  • Florida
  • Texas
  • Louisiana
  • North and South Carolina
  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • Mississippi
  • New York
  • Virginia

Of course, severe weather does not discriminate. It will make landfall anywhere along the gulf and Northeast coastlines throughout the hurricane season which runs through the summer months and well into the fall. Storms cannot be avoided, however how we prepare for and react when harsh weather is forecast can reduce and possibly eliminate a storm damage insurance claim. 

Severe weather includes lightning, hail, high winds, high tides and a combination of these natural elements can result in downed trees and downed wires. With the possibility of being without power for several days, make certain your residence has an emergency supplies kit. As a leading storm damage insurance adjuster, United Public Adjusters & Appraisers offers the following advice so homeowners nationwide can be ready for whatever Mother Nature has ‘in storm’ for us this year!

Indoor Preparedness

Here’s what to include in your kit:

  • Gallons of water in plastic containers (one per person per day)
  • Non-perishable foods in cans, bottles, and jars.
  • Flashlights and spare batteries.
  • Battery-powered radio and spare batteries.
  • Medication for at least a week, preferably two weeks.
  • Waterproof rain gear.
  • First aid kit. Check routinely and replace any out-of-date medications and antibiotic creams.

Stow your drinking water in a safe place, such as the floor of a closet. Keep the other items in a waterproof gym bag ready to go as soon as they are needed. Remember to keep your cell phones charged, so be sure to purchase a battery-powered charger and spare batteries.

After the storm subsides, if your home has sustained roof or more extreme damage, it may require moving out for a short period or even longer duration. This is no time to discover that important documents, especially forms of identification, have been lost as well. Take these precautions as soon as possible: rent a safe deposit box for will, marriage, divorce, and birth certificates. If you must keep these items at home purchase a waterproof safe large enough to store these additional documents:

  • Passports
  • Copies of your driver’s license
  • Social Security cards
  • Tax returns
  • Property deeds
  • Wills

NOTE: Of these documents, your birth certificate is more important as it not only proves your identity but is also used to order replacement copies of most of the other documents noted.

Outdoor Preparedness

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is dedicated to assisting Americans to avoid hazards. The agency’s recommendations for storm emergency preparedness begin long before a severe storm is forecast. FEMA notes that high winds that occur even during a Category 3 or 4 storm can turn outdoor furniture, exterior decor, and even loose driveway gravel into projectiles that can break windows and damage the exterior and roof of your home. Additionally, FEMA notes, that most hurricane-caused property damage occurs after winds have died down and rain enters the interior through broken windows, doors, and holes in the roof. This makes the following advice imperative:

Before the Storm

  • Consider replacing gravel driveways with asphalt. Not a cheap or easy fix, but consider the savings in not having to submit a storm damage insurance claim and wait weeks or months for a settlement check.
  • Hire an arborist to take down branches that overhang your house or outdoor structures. Have them recommend if any trees need to be cut down due to disease or poor condition. Be aware that many liability claims are caused by trees falling on neighbors’ property and residences.
  • Especially for those who live in the Southern and Gulf states, consider installing storm shutters. There may be additional cost savings on your insurance policy, and in some counties, storm shutters on new builds are required.
  • Again for the Southern states, have plywood panels pre-cut, screw-holes pre-drilled and each panel labeled as to its location to install over windows when a severe storm is forecasted.
  • Strengthen your front door. If yours does not already have three hinges, hire a contractor to install this easy fix. At the same time, a deadbolt lock for extra resistance in high winds.
  • Run a bead of waterproof caulk around every window, doorframe, and faucet to prevent water penetration.
  • Have valuable contents raised to a higher floor.
  • Document your property damage. Take videos and pictures of the building finishes and contents that have been damaged due to the storm.
  • Don’t wait last minute to evacuate.

As your storm damage insurance adjusters, United Public Adjusters & Appraisers posts this solid advice because we know that the best storm damage insurance claims are the ones that never happen! We provide comprehensive services to see our clients through every insurance claim contingency. Consult with our team today to learn more about how we can assist you whenever you need to file a property insurance claim.


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