Hurricane Isaac whipped through the Gulf Coast and, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, caused up to $2 billion in damages. At least 13,000 homes were destroyed, said the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
It is inevitable that natural disasters are going to take place, but you never know where or when they’ll happen. There are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself and your home against them.
Before Disaster Strikes
- Check your homeowners insurance policies. See what you are covered for and what you aren’t. “Make sure your plan includes the proper limit, or the assessed amount it would currently cost to replace your home if need be,” advises Forbes.com.
- Don’t scrimp on coverage. According to Forbes, homeowners sometimes “roll the dice, in hopes that they can save money on premiums and get by with minimal insurance. They may get a rude awakening when a major storm, flood, earthquake or fire hits their communities.” If you live in an area prone to earthquakes you should buy coverage for such occurrences. Consider adding flood insurance if you live in area that’s prone to flooding. “Standard home insurance policies won’t cover flood damage,” Forbes adds. “To cover flood damage, you’ll need a policy backed by the federal government with cooperation from local communities and private insurers.” Check into the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which the government created to assist homeowners, renters and business owners.
- Rent and insure. Purchase renter’s insurance to cover your personal property in case of damage.
- Lock it up. Make sure all of your important documents (insurance policies, wills, etc.) are in a secure place. A fireproof metal safety box or cyberlocker (online document storage) are two options.
- Is your home fortified? When you hear a storm warning, secure outdoor furniture. Check for leaks or crack in your house that water can seep into. Make sure your doors and windows are strong enough to withstand a major storm.
TheHousingForum.com offers some tips for what to do in the aftermath of a disaster.
- Get out of harm’s way by steering clear of effected areas.
- As soon as it is safe to do so, assess the damage to your property and report it to your insurance company. If you need additional or immediate help, contact local community and disaster relief agencies.
- Avoid downed power lines. Call the electric company.