August 27, 2015 1:24 am
The following four key lessons from Hurricane Katrina can help homeowners build a preparedness mindset that will stand as a defense against severe weather threats.
1. Consider Purchasing a Flood Insurance Policy
A key lesson learned from Katrina was that neither a home nor a renters insurance policy covers flood damage. Yet, according to a recent I.I.I. poll, only 13 percent of American homeowners have a flood insurance policy.
Since 1968, flood coverage has been available from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). It is also sold by some private insurers. Talk to your insurance professional to make sure you have enough insurance to replace your personal possessions and rebuild your home.
The maximum amount of NFIP coverage available to homeowners is $250,000 for the home and $100,000 for the home’s contents. For higher coverage levels, ask about excess flood insurance from private insurance companies.
2. Keep an Up-to-Date Home Inventory
An inventory of personal possessions makes it simpler to purchase the right amount of coverage, as well as making the claims filing process easier and more accurate. It can also be helpful when filing for financial assistance after a disaster.
3. Have an Evacuation Plan
In the event of a disaster, there may be only hours to evacuate. In order for an evacuation to go smoothly when a storm is imminent, it is important to plan and practice in advance. Have emergency supplies, including medicines, extra clothing, comfort items and important papers gathered and ready to go. Knowing where to evacuate to and the planned route is equally important. And be sure to take into account any special accommodations that need to be made for elderly relatives, a family member with special needs or pets.
4. Take Steps to Protect Property
Strengthening the roof, windows, doors and protecting all openings are important steps in safeguarding both the structure of a house and its occupants.
Published with permission from RISMedia.