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As I write this, tropical storm Isaac has just morphed into a hurricane and is following the same path as Katrina seven years after that hurrican devastated New Orleans.
Computer models differ on what the storm will do next, but whatever it does, it offers all of us in New England a good reminder that the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season - from Mid-August to late October - is here.
Although there's a natural tendency to start preparing for a hurricane once meteorologists begin tracking its route up the coast, at Mid-State Insurance Agency we believe that Isaac is a good reminder to have a plan in place long before severe weather strikes. Here are a few elements of such a plan:
- Maintain an emergency kit that includes water, nonperishable food, first aid and other supplies, as well as copies of important documents. Also, be sure to store key documents in a safety deposit box at your bank or in another location at a distance from your home.
- Create a family communications plan and check to see that everyone has the cell phone numbers of other family members programmed into their phones.
- Know what you need to do to secure your property once a hurricane is projected to hit the area. That may mean having plywood on hand to board up windows, or even investing in permanent storm shutters.
- Make sure gutters and downspouts are securely fastened and free from clogs.
- Bring in outdoor furniture, garbage cans, and other objects that could become projectiles.
- Consider investing in a generator for this or other emergencies that involve power outages.
You can find other helpful suggestions on preparing your home or business for hurricanes at the FEMA website: www.ready.gov.
Despite our best efforts, a severe hurricane will almost certainly damage property. So it's important to have adequate insurance coverage for your home, automobiles, boats, and other personal property.
Hurricanes can also produce extensive flood damage. While your homeowner policy covers damage caused by high winds, it does not cover damage caused by floods. At Mid-State Insurance, we can obtain quotes and write flood policies backed by the U.S. government's National Flood Insurance Program (NPIF). And while we're at it, we can also review your current policies to see that you have the coverage you need to protect your property from other kinds of loss.
We welcome the opportunity to put our commitment to 'individualized solutions' into action by answering your questions and helping you find the best solutions for your situation. Just give us a call 508.791.5566 or visit us at www.midstins.com and click on Questions.