Every year, the Gulf Coast states face threats from hurricanes. The Louisiana hurricane claims attorneys at JJC Law have helped many residents fight with insurance companies after the devastation of a big storm. Before a hurricane hits, it’s important to be prepared — both to weather the storm and to overcome the challenges of filing a damage claim afterward.
Below are a few of our best hurricane preparedness tips:
Video Your Home
Should something terrible happen, there will be a battle about the contents within your home. Shoot a quick video inside your home so that an insurance adjuster cannot dispute what you are claiming as contents under your insurance policy. Make sure to open the drawers of your kitchen, cabinets, personal effects, jewelry, closet etc. so that you can prove what you owned at the time the hurricane came through.
Consider a walk around your house, as well. The insurance company will want to save as much money as possible. If they can argue that outside damage is “old” — they will.
Think about it this way: If you can’t prove it was in your house when the house damage occurred, they will dispute it. Be smart, plan for them to battle with you. Videos and photos in the coming days (date/time stamped by your phone) will be amazing evidence should there be an issue later.
Be Careful of Vehicles Left Behind
If you have to leave a vehicle behind when evacuating ahead of a hurricane, make sure it is on the highest point of your property. Comprehensive coverage comes into play for automobiles and many people are told they have “full coverage” when they actually do not. Be careful.
Check Your Homeowners Insurance Information
Do you know what company wrote your homeowners insurance policy? Take a photograph of your policy and/or the contact information for the company in question. If you lose all your stuff, you need to know how to make a claim quickly. It’s a good idea to do the same thing for any car left behind as well.
Expect the Power to Go Out
If you leave town, take any perishable items with you. If the power is out for days, you do not want to come home to a full refrigerator of disgust.
Don’t Leave Your Animals Behind
We feel like this should go without saying, but please don’t leave pets behind when you evacuate. Any hurricane preparedness plan should include how you will evacuate your pets as well.
Evaluate Trees Around Home
Have any trees around your house? If you have time, trim any loose limbs or limbs that are hanging over the house. This is a great thing to do as general upkeep before hurricane season starts, but also good to check back on any time a storm looks to be heading towards Louisiana.
Move Things Away from Windows
It’s annoying, we know (it is for us as well!) However, if something breaks your window and rain comes into your house, you’ll be happy you moved that $2,500 antique chair from your grandmother away from the damage.
Move Valuables to 2nd Story
If you have a multi-story home and you have anything of major value downstairs, consider moving it to the second floor in case of flooding. Personal choice here, but the first floor is much more likely to flood than the 2nd floor.
Take Your Pictures
If you have a box of old pictures somewhere, take it on the road with you. Anything pre-camera phone / cloud. You likely don’t have a backup of these priceless family memories.
Be Careful with Generators
We cannot emphasize this enough: DO NOT RUN A GENERATOR IN YOUR HOUSE. The carbon monoxide will kill you while you sleep. Bad idea. Generators must be outside.
Store Extra Water
Fill up your bath tubs with water if you don’t have a good amount of bottled water around — or even if you do. You can use it for drinking water, or if things get really bad, for bathing (don’t drink it after that though!).
Plan for Tornadoes
Tornadoes are not uncommon when a hurricane strikes. Consider where you will go in the house in case a tornado pops up. Make a plan now, and save a lot of fright later. Put some flash lights in that location now.
Put Tools in Attic in Case of Flooding
Consider putting a hammer, axe or hatchet in your attic. If you stick around and your home floods enough that you have to escape to the attic, you don’t want to be stuck there in the event that the water keeps rising.
Send Us Your Insurance Policy for a Review
Following all of the best hurricane preparedness can’t prevent all storm damage. If you’ve suffered home or business damaged in a hurricane, JJC Law would be happy to review your policy to help you determine what your insurance company will and will not cover after a hurricane. Complete this form and attach your policy. We will contact you within 24 hours.