Is Your House Ready for a Hurricane?

How to Prepare for Severe Weather
Did you know there is an average of 11 tropical storms a year, and six of these turn into hurricanes? When most people think of hurricanes, they think of places like Florida and tropical regions. But we’ve had our share of hurricanes, making their way up the coast of New England. If a hurricane in the Atlantic comes near Massachusetts, it’s likely to affect the Cape and the islands. But in addition to causing beach erosion and other structural damage, hurricanes can affect areas that are hundreds of miles inland. That’s why it’s important to make sure your home and property are protected in case of severe weather.
If your house is located in a flood zone, and in some cases, even if it isn’t, you should consider getting flood insurance. This is because most homeowner’s policies don’t cover any damage caused by flooding from a hurricane.
Before a storm hits, make a list of your possessions—outdoor and indoor items—patio furniture, appliances, etc. This will assist your insurance broker if any items need replacing after the hurricane.
Outside Preparation
If you live near the coast, it’s a good idea to install storm shutters. If you have them, make sure they are in good condition. If your windows aren’t made of hurricane glass, you may want to replace them so they’ll have the strength to withstand the winds of a bad storm.
You may need to reinforce your roof with gables, hurricane straps, braces and brackets.  Also secure all windows, doors and garage doors. Make sure your rain gutters are secure and that there aren’t any areas clogged with debris.
Next, bring in all outdoor items, such as patio furniture, toys, etc., anything that can be turned into a projectile during a strong wind. Other potentially dangerous things include broken tree branches, loose fencing—anything in your yard that isn’t secured.
Inside Preparation
Make sure you have a hurricane preparedness kit. This should consist of flashlights, batteries, a radio—anything that can keep you in contact with local news. You should also stock up on water in case drinking water isn’t available for a while after the storm. Sometimes, when news of a hurricane comes, people panic and go to the store, clearing out all available jugs of water. Here’s a tip: If the shelves in the beverage aisle are empty, try the baby aisle. There are gallons of water that are just as good for drinking, but often people don’t think to go there, so you can usually find some. Also, you can fill your bathtub with tap water just in case.
Other items in your kit should include non-perishable foods, such as canned goods and a manual can opener. Be sure to have medication for family members, as well as pet food if you need it.
Keep valuable items, such as legal documents and family heirlooms, in protective coverings on a high level inside your house, in case of flooding.
Last but not least, if you can afford it, buy a portable generator, so you won’t have to lose power when power lines go down. If you get a generator, practice safe handling and keep it outside, at least 20 feet away from your house’s doors and windows. Finally, never plug your generator into a wall outlet in your house.
At Zawada Insurance Agency, we’ll help you shop around to find the best deals on car, home, and other types of insurance.  Please contact Zawada Insurance Agency for details.
Zawada Insurance Agency, Inc. is a family-owned and operated independent insurance agency, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, serving central Massachusetts and beyond.

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