Our hearts and prayers are with our neighbors in Florida, Texas and so many more places in light of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. Now that time has passed since the devastation, many families have been able to return to their homes to inspect the damage. These can be some of the most trying times after a natural disaster—when the initial shock and emergency situations resulting from a hurricane have subsided, and families and business owners are faced with the reality of rebuilding, sometimes from nothing. On the small Caribbean island of Barbuda, there is over 90 percent total devastation. This hurricane season served as an eye- opener to us for how important it is to take precautionary steps against natural disasters like hurricanes or flooding. Here are our recommendations on how to protect your family, businesses and assets during hurricane season.

Have a Plan in Place—If you live in an area that could be affected by a hurricane, discuss with your family and employees what the proper course of action is in order to reduce stress and chaos if a natural disaster were to hit. Determine what precautions you would need to take in order to secure your home and what irreplaceable items you would want to take with you should you need to evacuate. Make copies of important documents and choose a few locations to which you could evacuate. For your business, make sure you establish a clear line of communication with employees about the circumstances under which your business would close/reopen and what their specific concerns might be in the event of a hurricane.

Consider Windstorm Insurance—While most people think about flood damage as the most obvious damage their home would incur from a hurricane, we often forget about the effects wind damage could have. Most home owner’s insurance policies cover wind damage, however, if you live in a coastal state, you may need to invest in windstorm insurance. Windstorms bring an entirely separate division of issues including downed powerlines and trees, and high wind speeds can create dangerous projectiles.

Review Your Policies—Make sure you fully understand what is covered if your property were to be damaged. Comprehensive car insurance will cover flood damage. Flood insurance needs to be purchased separately from home owner’s insurance as most home owner’s policies do not cover flood damage. Discuss your options for protecting your business against hurricane damage with your insurance agent. If your business is located on a beachfront or near the water, you may face higher premiums, so you’ll want to compare quotes in order to receive your best value. If you live in or have a business in an area with a high chance of hurricane impact, remember to invest in a policy well before hurricane season. Flood insurance typically takes about 30 days to go into effect, so do not wait until it is too late.

Tragedies like this remind us at Penny Insurance Agency why we do what we do: help our clients protect their families, businesses and assets. For some of you, Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma may be cautionary tales and you may be reevaluating how you’re protected for a natural disaster. For others, you may be rebuilding your homes, businesses and lives. If you are interested in helping hurricane victims, please consider donating to The Red Cross.

Contact us today if you are interested in discussing your insurance policies and determining what your options are in protecting what’s valuable to you. Your families, businesses and assets are your priorities and here at Penny Insurance Agency, they are our priorities too.