With the spring season barely underway, hurricanes may be far from homeowners’ minds. After all, the bulk of hurricane activity occurs between mid-August and mid-October. However, assuming the hurricane threat is a risk for the much-later future is unwise. Hurricane season begins June 1, and preparing well in advance can make the difference between significant losses and minimal damage. While the foremost concern during a hurricane should be protecting human life, individuals can take numerous steps to safeguard their valuables during severe weather.
- Secure important documents. Some documents are difficult to replace, and losing all of them at once can make this more challenging. For example, replacing a sensitive document like a birth certificate requires multiple forms of identification. Individuals will have an uphill battle if storm flooding damages the bulk of their identifying documents, such as social security cards, passports, marriage licenses, etc. Securing these documents in a waterproof safe or container can prevent a lot of hassle following an already stressful event.
- Have a plan for electronics. Hurricanes don’t often extend the courtesy of reliability or ample forewarning, forcing many homeowners to evacuate with minimal belongings. Installing surge protection throughout the entire house instead of relying on power strips can offer more robust protection against power surges—especially for high-tech homes. Homeowners should also relocate electronics away from windows to protect them from wind-blown projectiles.
- Secure and elevate heavy belongings. Tall, heavy items like bookshelves are likely to topple during a hurricane. Not only can this damage the items, but it may destroy other belongings in its path. Furniture brackets and straps can help secure these items. Homeowners can elevate furniture on the ground floor or near doors and windows to protect them against flood damage or move them to the next floor, if time and space permits.
- Hurricane-proof the windows. Homeowners have numerous options when it comes to window protection, including hurricane shutters, roll shutters, impact-resistant glass, and storm panels. Shielding windows against flying debris can prevent water from entering the home and protect the belongings inside. Whatever method homeowners choose, they should never rely on tape. Taping windows as a hurricane barrier is a persistent myth that offers no protection and can increase the danger. The tape may cause the glass to shatter into larger and potentially lethal shards.
- Implement several measures of protection for valuables. Homeowners can use several methods to protect their valuables beyond securing documents, electronics, furniture, and windows. Crush-proof, waterproof cases secured with locked chains can protect valuables against damage and theft if homeowners have little time to prepare before evacuating. Maintaining and securely storing up-to-date inventories with proofs of purchase, appraisals, and so on can also prove essential when filing insurance claims after the storm. Investing in external storage for art and wine collections can provide superior security during a storm, such as a storage facility designed to withstand hurricanes.
Hurricanes are destructive forces of nature that can lead to financial ruin without proper planning. Layering security measures can help protect assets and prevent extensive losses. Contact Windermere Insurance Group to learn more about safeguarding valuables during a hurricane.