Natural Disasters; Are You Prepared?
Natural Disasters are often unexpected.
Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, wild fires, earthquakes….oh my!
Whether you have been fortunate to have never experienced any of them or the bad luck of any or all one thing we can all agree on is that we need to be better prepared for any and or all of them in the form of insurance and basic preparation. At Crisis Prevention & Restoration we want you to be prepared. Gain knowledge about your insurance coverage. Know the area where you live and have your bushiness. Do you live in a flood zone, or where there are many hurricanes? Are you in an area where there are many many wild fires? There are many steps you can take to make sure you, your family and your business have the best chance of surviving any natural disaster.
Most insurance policies do not cover damage caused by hurricanes. There is a usually a separate policy you have to purchase. Ask your insurance agent if your policy covers hurricane damage/loss. If it doesn’t make sure to add the extra policy that does. It’s better to have a policy you don’t ever use than to need it and not have it.
There is a misconception about hurricanes being the worst disasters. The fact is that flood cause the most damage. Flood insurance is not covered by the basic insurance policy. Many people think they don’t need flood insurance because they don’t live in an area where there are hurricanes or near the ocean. However, floods can happen in all regions of the United States and Hawaii. Floods do not only occur at low levels along the coast. Floods can occur inland as well as waterfronts. 85% of US counties have been declared a federal disaster area due to flood in the past 50 years.
Another additional policy is needed for earthquake damage. Although earthquakes can happen anywhere and not just long fault lines It is unlikely that there will be an earthquakes in Minnesota, New York or even Georgia. However, if you are in California and neighboring states the insurance to cover earthquakes is a must. Interesting fact, only 20% of earthquakes can be felt.
On average there are 1,000 tornadoes that touch down each year in the US, with Canada being the second highest with 100! These tornadoes approximately cost $25 million in damages each year in the US. Fortunately you don’t need an extra policy to cover tornadoes. Know that tornadoes occur in any terrain.
Wild fires can happen anywhere across the US and you don’t need an extra policy for fires. You must have working smoke detectors. 9.2 million of acres of land burned in the US due to drought and wildfires in 2012 in just western states. The last time the drought was as severe as the US drought of 2012 was 56 years ago.
Disaster Insurance; catastrophe and not-catastrophe relate claims-
Between 1997-2003 there were 25% of claims that were catastrophe related and 39% between 2004-2011 that were catastrophe related with an average of $7533 per claim. The increase in homeowner claims between 1997-2011 was 200%.
Crisis Prevention and Restoration we want you to be prepared for any and all natural disasters.
Create an emergency kit that has the essentials needed to for any emergency. Have enough food and water for each person, medical supplies and first aid kits, blankets, flash lights, radios are a must. Make a plan of areas to meet if you get separated. Make an evacuation plan and a “whos in charge” plan. Set responsibilities of who is responsible for what. For example; someone to turn of utilities if needed, someone who does a headcount at the meeting place to know who is accounted for and who may be missing. Some one to have the first aid kit and assist with injuries if needed and so on. Crisis Prevention & Restoration can help you with check lists and implementing a fail proof plan as well as recommend items for your kits through our product reviews.
Things to remember; Take pictures of your property and home before and after the disaster hits. The insurance company will want to know what it was like before and after. Also know what they require and how to report damages. Review your policies frequently to insure the coverage you have is enough to cover your property and family. Create a document with your policy information, phone numbers and your bank information. Secure these documents and information in a safe place away from your home or business like a safety deposit box. Know that insurance companies may take 30 days or more before they pay out, make sure you are covered for that period of time.
Reinforce garage doors. Although many people think that the roof is the most vulnerable part of a house it is the garage doors that are the most vulnerable during a hurricane. Install storm shutters if possible, if not board your windows with plywood. Secure your roof and siding to your house or business from with straps. Any disaster can be scary for family, friends and employees. Stay informed, stay connected, and remember that preparation is the best chance of survival and restoration.