Those preparing for the onslaught of Hurricane Dorian should prioritize their safety ahead of the storm, but another consideration is minimizing property loss.
Here are some things to consider, according to the Insurance Information Institute:
- Write down the name and phone number of your insurer and insurance professional and keep this information either in your wallet or purse
- Purchase emergency supplies, such as batteries and flashlights
- Secure drinking water and non-perishable food; both are essential for all household members in case of prolonged power outages. It is recommended you have one gallon of drinking water per person per day for up to seven days
- Prepare your yard by removing all outdoor furniture, lawn items, planters and other materials that could be picked up by high winds
- Fill your car's gasoline tank because long gas lines and fuel shortages often follow a major weather event
- Review your evacuation plan and, if you have a pet, your pet's evacuation plan
- Take inventory; there are many mobile app options which can help you create and store a room-by-room record of your belongings
Farmers Insurance offers the following tips for after the storm:
"Inspect your home, and take pictures of any damage that occurred. If you are concerned about safety, have a qualified building inspector or structural engineer inspect your residence before entering. Stay out of any dwelling if you smell gas, floodwater remains or your home was damaged by fire and authorities have declared it unsafe.
"Should you become separated from family members, utilize your family communication plan or contact the American Red Cross a 1-800-RED-CROSS/1-800-733-2767 or safeandwell.org . Contact the American Red Cross chapter where you are staying for information.
"If you are evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe. If you cannot return home and have immediate housing needs, text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example SHELTER12345). For those who have longer-term housing needs, FEMA offers several types of assistance, including services and grants to help people repair their homes and find replacement housing."