that live near coastlines face possibly loss by hurricane. Hopefully,
any affected person will own a homeowner insurance policy to help
deal with the crisis. However they must be aware of their
responsibilities under the insurance policy in order to take full
advantage of any available coverage.
main priority for a homeowner is to be sure that the amount of
coverage is adequate in the event that the home has to be totally
replaced. Also, the homeowner should keep their deductible in mind,
seeking options to make sure that it is affordable. Insurers who
operate in areas that experience hurricanes typically require
deductibles at a high, flat amount (such as $2,000) or at a
percentage of the policy's insurance limit (anywhere from 2% to 5%).
a homeowner should consider ways to minimize their possible loss and
maximize their personal safety by:
advance evacuation plans (including determining evacuation route,
fueling car, preparing supplies, etc.)
aware of the nearest, safe shelter
outdoor property inside the home (lawn equipment, toys, tools, etc.)
or building a proper "safe room"
all windows and doors
a portable radio and stay turned to accurate source of weather
off (unplug) small appliances and turn refrigerators/freezers to
their highest settings.
applicable, turn off fuel/oil tanks.
sinks and bathtubs with water.
to a damaged/destroyed site is not when a hurricane victim will be at
his or her best, but that is the time that certain obligations have
to be met in order to make the most out of any insurance recovery. It
is important to do the following:
the earliest possible chance, contact your insurer with details
about your loss
possible, be sure you have a way to visually record the loss details
(camera, digital camera, even a smart phone camera.)
reasonable action to keep intact property protected from additional
damage or loss
an accurate record of all expenses that are related to protecting
your property as well as items related to temporary housing and
post-catastrophe times are chaotic and spirit-sapping, it is
important to keep in contact with your agent and/or insurer. Take the
time to be meticulous about filling out reports, documenting the
value of your loss and cooperating with claims personnel.
should be checked to make sure it meets local codes. With the
knowledge of a region's wind hazards, the adequacy of local building
codes should be evaluated. The following factors should be evaluated
for hurricane/wind exposed risks:
building codes -
What are the local building codes for the location of the risk? What
is the expected wind load within an annual probability (i.e., once
every 100 or more years)?
building design -
Is the building an unusual shape or size? Is it aerodynamic? Are
there special issues to address? What is the height of the building?
Is the site protected from water forces (erosion or storm surge)?
What is the distance from the shore or nearest body of water? Is the
structure on a hill, open flatland, or other locale that might
increase or decrease wind factors?
Is the foundation free from deterioration? Is it properly installed
and the building adequately anchored to the foundation? If the
structure is built on pilings, are they made of the proper materials
and installed to the proper depth? Is the structure adequately
All components of the building should be adequately anchored to the
foundation and continuously connected from the foundation to the
roof. All anchors should be connected and made from non-corrosive
materials. Are additional anchors required?
Roof sheathing must meet local codes for securing the roof to the
various components. Inspect the roof perimeter flashing to make sure
it is adequately fastened.
Special emphasis should be placed on contractor activities during
the roof construction. Make sure non-corrosive nail clips are used
to securely attach roof covering to roof sheathing. Roofs should be
inspected for any design and installation defects. Skylights should
walls and cladding -
All doors, windows, and glass walls must be protected. Are there
roll-down gates or other precautions (plywood window and door
coverings)? All doors should be reinforced and coverings or shutters
adequately fastened and designed to resist the required wind
Decorative facades and similar architectural walls should be
avoided. If being designed, they should be made to resist the
anticipated wind pressures/forces.
attached and detached structures -
Are these of sound quality and, if attached, attached firmly to the
building? Is there adequate distance of detached structures to the
main building? Additional anchoring required?
Building maintenance machinery and equipment should be checked. Are
they securely fastened to the building and located above expected
flood levels? All ventilation systems on the walls or roof should be
capable of being covered or disconnected to prevent moisture or
water from coming into contact
of Hurricane Damage
economic losses resulting from a hurricane may seem uncontrollable;
however, proper loss control practices can significantly reduce the
overall damage from a hurricane. Three significant ways to reduce
loss exposure can be broken down as follows:
Prevention should be established before the actual event occurs.
This can be achieved through hazard risk assessment and proper
planning and protection. Significant advances in computerized hazard
modeling can help in estimating wind speeds and storm surge levels.
Regional risk maps with maximum wind loads, storm surge levels, and
topographical factors can help identify potential risk.
of Impact -
There should be an awareness of the construction practices civil
engineers considers adequate. In the case of storm surge, sea walls,
stilts and the distance from the coastal area are all factors that
can reduce loss exposure. In many regions of the country, civil
engineers and local municipalities have detailed building codes that
pertain to local wind hazards and potential wind forces. Other plans
that can be applied to reduce the risk to individuals can be through
warning dissemination; evacuation; shelter; and search and rescue.
This process can be achieved through relief (food and medical aid);
post disaster assistance; and reconstruction.
these three suggested ways to reduce losses, the most effective is
the first, prevention. It should be stressed that the majority of the
largest losses can be preventable, or the damage can be substantially
reduced, if well-established construction practices are used.
Your pet will need more than a bag in a storm.
Make sure your hurricane kit includes:
Pack non-perishable food for each person 3-7 days