Key West, FL, July 2005

It’s Almost Hurricane Season… Do You Know Where Your Hurricane Plan is?

2005's Hurricane Dennis in Key West, FL

A plan is a combination of preparedness and strategy.

A hurricane is a windstorm with a name that can cause devastation over a wide area of land. The question is what to do should a hurricane approach.

Preparing your home or building for a storm includes not only the physical structure itself but also the financial ramifications of having to repair or rebuild should damage or destruction occur. This means that not only must physical action be taken, but also documentation and other financial back-up should be gathered to support a potential economic loss. Maintenance and upkeep of the building, along with a hardening of the structure, are key steps to mitigating the potential damage done from a weather event.

Now is the time of year to have roofs inspected and if needed, repairs made so that when hurricane season begins on June 1st the building will be ready to withstand high winds with heavy rain.

Additionally, if there are trees, tree limbs, or other debris that may come into contact with the building during a storm, these should be taken care of such that they will not touch the structure causing damage. Be sure that objects that may easily become airborne are secured inside of a structure such as garbage cans, outdoor furniture, bird baths, and the like. Obviously this preparedness plan for the structure is overly simplified and can be quite complex depending on the size and nature of the building. Each plan should be developed in a way that customizes the actions taken for the particular structure.

Chess is the game of kings. Monarchs lead sovereignties and must think two, three, and four moves in advance in order to lead their nations.

Each property owner is king of their own castle and has an obligation to strategize in order to minimize risk.

Therefore, once the property is prepared in terms of maintenance, opening protection, and the building’s surroundings, then thought must turn to dealing with the fallout of a loss. This includes insurance and documentation evidencing the features and values of the damaged property. It is wise to maintain photographs and written descriptions of the building and its contents in terms of an itemized inventory list including costs along with any receipts and finalized building permits for work done to show to the adjuster in justifying a claim. These things should be kept in a fireproof, waterproof box or stored in the cloud or other digital devices.

Insurance policy information as well as the name and phone number of your agent and your insurer becomes very important at the time of an occurrence. Know the claim number to call in the immediate aftermath of a storm. Be sure to keep receipts and photographic evidence of any damage that has occurred and temporary repairs made to keep further loss from happening. Do not affect permanent repairs until an adjuster has come to the structure.

Think strategically.

Take steps to minimize loss resulting from a hurricane. Plan for the loss by having records in the form of photographs, inventory lists, and receipts. Keep these documents in a safe place as well as maintaining duplicates as redundancy is an excellent loss control method. Give us a call at Rolfs Insurance Services to start preparing now.

Additional information and resources may be found here at the National Hurricane Center’s official website for hurricane preparedness.

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