Allstate catastrophe team member helping Allstate customers through a catastrophic event

Hurricane Preparation is Your Best Defense

By using the tips and tools listed below for insurance coverage, property protection, home inventory, emergency supply kits and evacuation plans, you and your family will feel better prepared for hurricane season.

File a Claim or Call 1-800-54-Storm

Insurance Coverage

Review your insurance coverage to make sure you are adequately protected. Here are some questions you may want to discuss with an Allstate Agent.  Addressing these questions today will help you feel better prepared.

  • Is your coverage up to date?
  • Do you have coverage for additional living expenses?
  • Do you have coverage for floods?
  • Do you have enough coverage for your valuables?
  • Do you have comprehensive car coverage?

Protecting Your Property

There's no technology that can take the destructive force of a hurricane.  But through the right kind of preparation, you can reduce the damage it might cause to your property. 

Things to Do in Advance of a Storm

  • Ensure you have hurricane shutters or 3/4 inch outdoor plywood boards for each window of your home.
  • Install anchors and pre-drill holes for the plywood so you can put it up quickly in the event of a storm.
  • Install head and foot bolts on doors for extra protection.
  • Install hurricane straps or clips.  These are designed to help hold your roof to the walls of your home.
  • Assess your property to ensure landscaping and trees do not become wind hazards and remove any diseased or damaged limbs from trees.  This will help keep them from blowing around during a storm.
  • Pre-select a garage or carport to park your car in or an area of higher ground to move your car to in case of flooding.
  • Consider building a safe room in you home to withstand high winds and flying debris. 

Things You Can Do Right Before a Storm

  • Secure buildings by closing and boarding up windows.  Remove outside antennas.
  • Bring all lawn furniture, outdoor decorations, trash cans, hanging plants and anything else that could be picked up by the wind inside.  Anchor objects that cannot be brought inside.
  • Move your car to a garage, a carport or an area of higher ground in the case of flooding.
  • If you must leave your car outdoors, park as close to a building as possible.  Move your car away from trees or poles that may topple onto it.
  • Make sure you fill your car's gas tank.
  • Get emergency cash.
  • Turn your refrigerator to its coldest setting. 

Conducting a Home Inventory

Conducting a home inventory is one of the best ways to recover from hurricane damage.  It allows you to keep a record of what you own which will simplify the process of sorting through damaged items should you need to file a claim. 

Ways to Conduct Your Home Inventory

Move from room to room recording the value of each of your possessions.  It is also helpful to keep track of model numbers and stores where you purchased each item.  Here are methods you can use.

  • Notepad and camera - as you take photographs, write down the details of each item.
  • Video camera - this is an easy method because you can narrate the details of each item while videotaping.
  • Personal computer - personal finance software packages often include a home inventory program.

Tips on Conducting Your Own Home Inventory

  • Make sure you record the contents of closets, drawers and cabinets.  The value of little things can add up quickly
  • Store all lists, photographs and videotapes in a safe place off the premises.  It is a good idea to keep back-ups as well.
  • Update your home inventory.  After making a significant purchase, be sure to add the information to your home inventory while it is still fresh in your mind.
  • Keep all receipts, especially for big items such as jewelry, furs and collectibles.  Also keep in mind that valuable items may need separate insurance coverage.  Check with your agent.

Emergency Supply Kit

When a hurricane strikes there is always the possibility of being without electricity or clean water for days.  You should plan accordingly.  Here are a few things to include in an emergency supply kit.

  • 3-day supply of water and ready-to-eat, non-perishable food for every family member and pet.
  • Manual can opener for canned foods.
  • Essential medications, including eyeglasses and contact lenses.
  • First-aid kit and manual.  Include bandages, antiseptic, tape, a compress, non-aspirin pain reliever and anti-diarrhea medication.
  • Battery-powered flashlight and radio with extra batteries.

Planning for an Evacuation

During hurricane season you should not only expect the need to evacuate, you should prepare for it. 

  • Learn the best evacuation routes and keep a road map in your car in case you are forced to take unfamiliar roads.
  • Arrange for a ride well before the storm if you don't have your own transportation.  You may be forced to evacuate.
  • Have an emergency supply kit prepared for your car with extra keys, food, water, jumper cables, a first-aid kit and sleeping bags.
  • Make a plan now for what to do with your pets.  Many shelters and hotels will not accept them.  If you are unable to take your pets when you evacuate, make sure you leave behind "Pet Inside" signs on you front and back doors with the number and kind of pets inside so others can evacuate them.
  • Identify an out-of state contact so if you family members get separated, you'll know who to call.
  • Plan a meeting location at least 50 miles inland in case your family members get separated.
  • Gather important papers to take with you such as driver's license, social security card, etc.
  • Fill up your bathtub, sinks and other large containers with fresh water.  This will serve as an important reserve should you be without running water after a storm.

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