Hail can come on quickly and pack a lasting punch. It’s important to protect your home and know what to do after damage occurs.
In an average year, 800 tornadoes are reported nationwide. Homes close to a tornado are often damaged or destroyed by wind, rain, and flying debris.
Before a tornado
You can’t make your home or business tornado-proof, but you can take steps that improve the odds of surviving the high winds. You may want to call on professionals for the more technical jobs.
Start at the top, your roof. Fix any areas that need repair. If you are planning to replace your roof, select materials that are designed to withstand high wind.
If you are planning to replace your windows, select impact-resistant window systems, which have a much better chance of surviving a major windstorm.
Anchor door frames securely to wall framing. Make certain your doors have at least three hinges and a deadbolt security lock with a bolt at least one inch long.
During a tornado
If a tornado is headed your way and you are in a building, move to an underground shelter or interior room or hallway on the lowest floor.
Stay away from windows and corners.
If you’re in your car, get out immediately and find safe shelter or lie flat in a ditch. Do not take shelter under an overpass or a bridge.
Flying debris causes most injuries and fatalities, so use your arms to protect your head and neck.After a tornado
Review your policy with your local independent agent for detailed coverage explanations and call 1-800-332-3226 to file a claim if you have experienced tornado-related damage.
Along with winter come cozy evenings by the fire and trips to the slopes. But, winter weather also brings a number of risks for you, your family, and your property. Pipes can burst, fireplaces can cause smoke and other damage, and roofs can strain under the load of snow and ice.Before winter arrives
Earthquakes are not just limited to the West Coast. They can happen in just about any state in the United States. However, if you live in an area more likely to have an earthquake, make sure to talk to your local independent agent about whether you are covered for earthquakes or if you should purchase separate coverage. Also be sure to discuss home improvements that can make your home eligible for an earthquake endorsement or policy. California, Oregon, and Washington residents must purchase a separate earthquake policy.Know what your insurance covers and how much you need
We’ve all seen the dramatic effect hurricanes can have, both the initial wind and rain and the floods and devastation that follow. There are steps you can take to stay safe and reduce damage to your property in the event of a storm.
Note that neither home nor business insurance covers flood damage from a hurricane, including floods from storm surges. Your local independent agent can help you purchase a policy through the National Flood Insurance Program.Before a hurricane
After a hurricane
Water is a major cause of damage after hurricanes. The longer your house is exposed to water, the more damage you’ll see to your roof, ceiling, walls, and floors, as well as any personal belongings inside. After the storm has passed, it’s important to dry out any water damaged inside your home.
Review your policy with your local independent agent for detailed coverage explanations and call 1-800-332-3226 to file a claim if you have experienced hurricane-related damage.
While wildfires happen more frequently in the western United States, nearly every state has been devastated by fires in the last century. And each year, hundreds of homes are destroyed as more people choose to live closer to nature.Before a wildfire
Review your policy with your local independent agent for detailed coverage explanations and call 1-800-332-3226 to file a claim if you have experienced wildfire-related damage.
At any time of the year an incident could knock out power to your house, your neighborhood, your entire town. Would you be able to live off of what you already have at home?
While you don’t think about disaster supplies every day, they’re vital to have. Use this checklist to help you put together a disaster preparedness kit or update the one you already have.
Food and water
A good rule of thumb is to keep a two-week supply of nonperishable food (don’t forget the can opener) and bottled water for you and your family. You typically want one gallon of water per person, per day. Store it all in a safe, dry place.
Medications and first-aid
Stock your emergency kit with both medications that you and other family members take daily (enough for at least a week) as well as supplies, such as bandages, antiseptic ointment, and fever reducers to help you treat injuries and illness.
Your pets will need food and water, so always keep extra on hand for them. Don’t forget any medications they may need.
Store extra batteries along with your flashlights or lanterns. Or, choose a hand-crank flashlight instead. Just check regularly that it’s in good working order.
A hand-crank radio is another must and allows you to tune in to emergency broadcasts.
Blankets and clothing
If you’re without power during inclement weather, you’ll appreciate having some extra clothes, socks, undergarments, hats, gloves, and blankets on hand. Don’t forget a blanket for your pets.
Think things such as baby wipes, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, and more.
Having copies of important paperwork, such as passports and insurance policies, comes in handy if you need to evacuate your home. Also have contact information for family members and emergency providers.
A multipurpose tool may be all you need, but also think about including things you might take camping, such as a small axe or pliers.
Matches, maps, cash, breathing masks, a whistle, a compass, a tarp – there are plenty of other things you can add to your emergency preparedness kit. Use your family’s needs as a guide. It might not hurt to throw in a pack of cards or activity books to help keep kids occupied during long stretches.
It may seem a little daunting to set all this aside, much less make it all portable in case you need to leave your home. But, if the need ever arises, you’ll be glad you planned ahead. Your disaster supplies may even save your life one day, so be sure to check periodically that you have everything you need and to replace expired items.