Preparedness Tools

Learn about the risks that we can help you stay prepared to face

We want you to be safe in your home year-round. That’s why, in addition to our customizable home insurance policies, we arm you with information that keeps you prepared for anything. Stay informed and ready with Prepared.

In addition to our customized insurance policies, we arm you with information that keeps you Prepared for anything.

Prepare before, during, and after a hurricane

Examine the many aspects of available policies and potential damage.

  • Do you have adequate coverage to replace the structure of your home?
  • Have you renovated your home or made improvements without contacting your agent to adjust coverage?
  • Coverage B covers other structures on your property, has this been discussed with your agent?
  • What about your personal property? Most homeowner policies have limitations on mobile personal property, however, with a “schedule” you can provide additional coverage for items such as jewelry, antiques, collectibles, golf equipment and bicycles, just to name a few. Speak with your agent to determine if this coverage would provide needed protection.
  • Did you know that if you have insufficient coverage for the structure of your home, this will also impact the amount available for “loss of use” also known as Coverage D? This coverage can help pay for the increased cost of living away from home after a covered event if your house is uninhabitable.
  • Have you purchased a flood policy? Many insured’s believe they only need this coverage when their mortgage company requires it. Please discuss this additional and separate policy with your agent to determine if you are ready to take on the risk of a flood loss which is NOT covered by your standard homeowner policy.
  • Keep a list of emergency contact information for reference:
    • Local Emergency Management Office
    • County Law Enforcement, Public Safety Fire/Rescue
    • State, County and City/Town Government
    • Local Hospitals, Utilities, American Red Cross, TV Stations and Radio Stations
    • Your Insurance Agent
    • Ask an out-of-town friend or relative to be your “family contact.” After a disaster, anyone not at home should check in with the contact person.
  • Install hurricane shutters or pre-cut 3/4-inch plywood shutters on each window of your house.
  • Close shutters and board up or tape windows.
  • Cut tree branches that could break windows and enter your home.
  • Turn refrigerators and freezers to coldest settings and don’t open the doors unless necessary.
  • If evacuating, lock the windows and doors of your home before leaving and turn off all utilities.
  • Bring outside objects like patio furniture or toys into the house or a secured garage.
  • Secure large items, such as boats or swing sets, to the ground.
  • Fill your car with gas.
  • First aid supplies, including sterile gauze pads, scissors, bandages, tweezers, antiseptic spray, latex gloves and a bar of antibacterial soap
  • Prescription and non-prescription medicines, including non-prescription pain relievers, antacid, eye wash, rubbing alcohol, and medicine to induce vomiting in the event of poisoning
  • Battery-operated radio with extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Cash or traveler’s checks
  • Spare clothes and sturdy shoes for each family member
  • Sleeping bags and a tent
  • Toilet paper and other personal hygiene items
  • Special items required for babies or pets, bottled water, and non-perishable items
  • Turn off circuit breakers.
  • Close all doors and secure all windows.
  • Fill bathtubs with water to be used for hygiene and cleaning after the storm.
  • Listen for radio or television reports from the National Weather Service and follow all instructions, particularly those for evacuation.

Category 1 (Minor)

  • Wind Speed: 74-95 mph; 119-153 km/h; 64-82 kt
  • Minimal Damage: Power outages, some damage to mobile homes and landscaping

Category 2 (Minor)

  • Wind Speed: 96-110 mph; 154-177 km/h; 83-95 kt
  • Widespread Damage: Power outages for several days, small structure damage, substantial mobile home damage, high rise window damage and roof material, window & door damage

Category 3 (Major)

  • Wind Speed: 111-129 mph; 178-208 km/h; 96-112 kt
  • Extensive Damage: Power outages for several days or weeks, structural damage to homes, minimal wall failure, mobile homes destroyed and uprooted trees.

Category 4 (Major)

  • Wind Speed: 130-156 mph; 209-251 km/h; 113-136 kt
  • Devastating Damage: Power outages for weeks, wall collapse and complete roof destruction

Category 5 (Major)

  • Wind Speed: >157 mph; >252 km/h; >137 kt
  • Catastrophic Damage: Power outages for weeks or months and building destruction
  • Listen to the radio or news reports to determine when it is safe to leave.
  • Be alert for tornadoes.
  • Stay away from floodwaters.
  • Boil tap water before drinking or cooking, or use bottled water.
  • Dispose of spoiled food immediately. If you have insurance coverage for spoiled food, document your loss.
  • Keep circuit breakers turned off until all power has been restored.
  • Stay away from power lines.
  • Use a flashlight. Do not light matches or turn on electrical switches.
  • Once power is restored, investigate for electrical system damage. Turn off the electricity if you find frayed wires, detect a burning smell or suspect any other problems.
  • Check for gas leaks. If you detect a leak, leave the building immediately and turn off the gas at the main valve outside, if possible. Notify the gas company at once.
  • Check to see that sewer and water lines are functioning properly. If you detect a problem, do not run the tap or flush the toilet. Contact a plumber.
  • Watch for holes in the floor, loose boards or hanging plaster.
  • Take an inventory of any damaged property or possessions. Do not dispose of any items without the prior approval of your insurance claims adjuster.
  • In the event of a loss, contact the Prepared claims office at 877.313.1824 and a representative will assist you.
  • Keep a written record of everyone you talk to about your insurance claim, including the date of the conversation and a summary of what was said.
  • Hold off on permanent repairs until you’ve received approval for reimbursement.
  • Keep all receipts.