From reviewing action plans for common threats - including floods and fires - to properly stocking your home with supplies, there is plenty to do to maximize your protection against loss and danger.
Preparing the home
First, make sure your home is stocked with the following items:
- The Sweet Home, a website on homeownership, suggests keeping battery-powered lanterns for emergencies rather than candles to mitigate fire risk, as well as extra batteries. Having one per person or room in the home is the best approach.
- DoItYourself.com, a DIY website, recommends keeping fire extinguishers in the kitchen, near the entrances and exits of the home, and at least one on each level. It's also a good idea to keep one in the garage.
- Red Cross, and organization devoted to emergency preparedness and response, recommends the following items be kept in a survival kit: Canned food, a battery-powered can opener, extra batteries, a seven-day supply of medication, first-aid kit, hand-crank radio, three gallons of water for each member of the family in the event of an evacuation, and 14 gallons of water for each person in the house.
- The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a university, urges individuals to have extra blankets, plastic sheets, rain gear, weatherproof shoes and other warm, protective clothing set aside in case of an emergency.
- Keep an extra tank of gas for your car in case you need to evacuate the home. Here are some tips for planning ahead for an evacuation.
You will also want to have a fire rated safe in your house to protect vital documents, including your insurance policy. Consumer Reports, a magazine providing product ratings and other consumer information, suggests getting a safe that is rated for 30 minutes of protection and a maximum internal temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This will ensure that all of your important paper documents, such as passports and birth certificates, are out of harm's way.
If high winds are a possibility, reinforcing all points and means of entry to your home is a big part of storm proofing. Turning off propane tanks and small appliances is important during flooding. Bring in any lightweight outdoor objects or furniture. Check out Selective's Hurricane guide for more tips and resources to protect your home.
Cover your assets
Make sure your insurance policies cover all of the disasters that could possibly strike your neighborhood, including tornados, floods, fires, hurricanes and more. Remember that your home insurance policy might not automatically cover you for all of these items or might not offer enough protection on its own for you to truly avoid major financial losses. Do not wait until it is too late to cover your assets - speak to your independent agent today. Don't have an agent? Click here to find one in your area.