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When a hurricane or another natural disaster strikes, your electricity may be down for days or even weeks. To minimize the impact the loss of electricity has on your household, prepare in advance for life in the dark.

KITCHEN TIPS:

  • Stock a two-week supply of non-perishable foods that do not require cooking:
  • Canned fruits and vegetables;
  • Canned juices, milk, powdered drinks;
  • High energy foods such as peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars and trail bars;
  • Canned meat – tuna/chicken/turkey and chili;
  • Canned ravioli, soups, stew;
  • Dried fruit.
  • Select canned items with a pull top to eliminate need of a can opener.
  • Consider a French Roast Coffee Maker to brew coffee on a grill.
  • Stock trash bags in different sizes.
  • Stock one gallon of water per day per person for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene.
  • Store a can of Sterno, camp stove, propane for grill for foods that need to be cooked (only use outdoors).
  • Purchase a non-electric can opener.
  • Consider using paper plates and utensils for easy disposal.
  • Buy disinfectant wipes, bleach and towelettes.
  • Collect single serving plastic containers with lids.
  • Use a medium sized cooler to store ice.
  • Avoid opening the refrigerator or freezer.

The approach of a hurricane is an awful time to discover that your home may not be adequately covered by insurance. Once a tropical storm or hurricane watch or warning has been issued, insurance companies will not allow homeowners to obtain new or additional insurance coverage. 

Instead of nervously checking your insurance documents in the midst of hunkering down for a storm, you should make sure your home insurance needs – which may include homeowners, windstorm and flood coverage – are met before hurricane season (generally June through November) arrives. 

This should include reviewing your policies to understand what is covered, and filling in any gaps you find. It’s also wise to become familiar with your various insurance deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses that may be required if a hurricane damages your home. Starting this process before hurricane seasons gives you time to start an emergency fund to cover these costs if necessary. 

To truly know how to arrange your coverage, you need to know how various insurance policies work in the event of storm damage. Here are answers to five common questions on hurricanes and home insurance.

1. Does homeowners insurance cover damage from a hurricane?

There is no one insurance coverage that can cover all of the possible damage a hurricane can cause to your home. Instead, you may need a mixture of policies – home, wind and flood – to be fully covered.

Where you live can also impact your hurricane insurance needs. Across most of the U.S., a standard home insurance policy will cover damage caused by windstorms, hurricanes and hail, provided you don’t waive the coverage. But if you live near the coast, you may be required to purchase a separate windstorm policy or wind and hail insurance to receive protection for damages from wind or wind-blown water.

Basic Preparedness Tips

  • Know where to go. If you are ordered to evacuate, know the local hurricane evacuation route(s) to take and have a plan for where you can stay. Contact your local emergency management agency for more information.
  • Put together a disaster supply kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate
  • If you are not in an area that is advised to evacuate and you decide to stay in your home, plan for adequate supplies in case you lose power and water for several days and you are not able to leave due to flooding or blocked roads.
  • Make a family emergency communication plan.

The number one concern of summer travelers researching travel insurance is how their trip will be affected by hurricanes or other severe weather events. When traveling during the Atlantic hurricane season, June 1st to November 30th, you must plan for unexpected weather patterns. It is best to purchase a travel insurance plan as soon as you place your first payment on your trip to avoid loss of coverage due to a predicted storm. Basically, you need to buy your plan before a hurricane or tropical storm is predicted to affect your travel plans.

If you read nothing else in this article, although all of it is important and we highly recommend you do, know this: purchasing your travel insurance plan prior to a storm being named should provide you coverage for travel concerns that arise due to that storm. If a hurricane or tropical storm that affects your trip is predicted prior to you purchasing a plan, your coverage may be extremely limited. 

Hurricane Travel Insurance: How to Decide If it’s Important

You are probably thinking to yourself, “Sure, bad weather affects travel plans. But do I really need to invest in a travel insurance plan?” While we can’t answer that question for you, we can set you up with the right tools. We recommend purchasing a comprehensive travel insurance plan if you can answer ‘yes’ to any of the following questions:

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