Written by Mary Beth Tice
The tropics are starting to look like a party in the Atlantic and even though the party’s latest arrival, Kirk (insert Star Trek jokes here), appears to have no interest the NC coast according to the National Hurricane Center’s latest projected path, it’s definitely time to make sure you and your home are prepared for any storm that pops up.
Double Check Your Home Owner’s (Or Renter’s) Insurance
If a storm were to hit today, do you know for a fact that your insurance would cover all your damages? If you haven’t examined your policy within the last 6-12 months, contact your policy holder for a quick refresher. Purchased something large or added on? Make sure your policy covers it before the storm hits. Don’t wait for the storm to get close either; insurance companies have cutoffs for new policies as storms get closer.
Take Stock of Your Belongings
While you don’t have to know how many pairs of white socks you own, its best to have a list of all your valuables and if they have any kind of identifying serial number. This way if something were to happen to Aunt Thelma’s jewels, you have record of owning them. I recommend taking photos of your valuables that you then back up (along with the list) online so you can access it anywhere. Have the receipt and warranty information for your 60 inch TV? Scan and upload them as well. (Several cloud services offer anywhere from 2-5 GB of storage space for free.) The best part about this step is if you move to a new home one day, you can use this information to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything of value.
Safe Guard Your Records
Deeds, insurance records, passports, birth certificates, etc. need to be kept in a dry, safe location. Bank deposit boxes are a good choice as well as a fireproof safe in your home. I personally like a safe at home so if you are evacuating, you can quickly take the documents with you.
Create Your Emergency Kit
Make sure you have an emergency preparedness kit handy. This needs to include first-aid items, batteries, non perishables, pet food, water and emergency contact numbers. Whether you are traveling or hunkering down, make sure you have plenty of cash on hand as credit card machines and ATMs may be down for awhile after the storm passes.
Hurricane prep is not something to be taken lightly but with a little work upfront, you can quickly be prepared the next time a storm decides to head our way.
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