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In 2017, Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on the Texas coast, causing millions of dollars in damage to communities and property. As you look ahead to the next hurricane season, you’ll want to make sure you have all your bases covered when it comes to preparation. Consider the tips in this article a great starting point for taking all the necessary precautions. We recommend doing these things well before August or September, when Texas sees the most tropical storms and hurricanes.
Make Sure You’re Insured
Insurance is a great place to start, as there is generally some lead time involved, and you are limited in terms of when you can purchase some kinds of insurance. There are three types of insurance needed for a coastal home: standard home, wind (if not included on your home policy), and most importantly, flood insurance. Even when you have purchased a flood insurance policy, you cannot file a claim against it for at least 30 days. Waiting until a Hurricane has formed to purchase a policy will not provide coverage for an imminent event. You should insure your home for replacement cost and debris removal. If you need to cover motor vehicles and boats, you must have comprehensive coverage on your policies.
Take action — Secure home, wind, and flood insurance coverage on your coastal home now.
Secure Your Home
Another good thing to do before hurricane season is to perform some key repairs on your home to help you minimize damage as much as possible. Porches and carports can act like wings in a windstorm. Leakey roofs and windows make it easier for hard-driving rain to enter your home. Lawn furniture and other items left in your yard can become damaging projectiles during a hurricane.
Take action — Secure porches and carports to the ground, repair and seal leaky roofs and windows, clear lawn items and debris from your yard, and consider purchasing or building your own storm shutters.
Gather Food and Supplies
Tropical storms and hurricanes can leave people stranded in their homes without power. Before hurricane season starts, gather enough food, medicine, first aid kits, and any other supplies necessary to shelter in your home for a few days or take with you as you evacuate. Consider purchasing insect repellant, respirators, water, flashlights, and batteries. And don’t forget to prepare for your pets. It is wise to make sure they are up-to-date with their shots, as shelters may not accept a pet without vaccinations. Humans need vaccinations too. Be sure all family members are up-to-date with vaccines, such as tetanus.
Take action — Make sure you have at least a three-day supply of water, nonperishable food, and medication for every person and pet in your residence. Also gather flashlights, headlamps, batteries, first aid supplies, and a battery powered radio, and keep them all together in a secure location.
Make a Plan
Think about whether you will evacuate or stay at home. Keep in mind that emergency services might not be available if you stay behind during an evacuation. Make a plan that keeps your loved ones safe, and be prepared to execute that plan.
Take action — In a waterproof container, store copies of your important records, contact information for friends and family, evacuation route maps, phone numbers for utilities, contact information for your insurance carriers, and copies of your insurance policies.
With a little preparation, you can be well-prepared for whatever blows in with the next Texas hurricane season.