Large-scale storms and natural disasters can come at a great personal and financial cost to homeowners. Homeowners who are prepared for these occurrences and aware of how to protect their assets may be in a stronger position to ride out storms and recoup their losses.
While there is little individuals can do to prevent significant damages, there are steps they can take to protect themselves and their home.
Ensure insurance coverage is adequate
The first step individuals should take to protect themselves during a disaster is ensuring they have sufficient homeowners insurance, according to Kiplinger. When it comes to purchasing insurance, many owners are only insured for the purchase price of the house. However, most experts recommend purchasing enough insurance to cover rebuilding costs. It can be helpful to speak with a contractor to determine how much the home would cost to rebuild and the types of materials used to construct the property. In addition, homeowners may consider purchasing additional coverage to replace expensive items, such as furniture, heirlooms and collectibles.
Make a household inventory list
It can be difficult for homeowners to know what they lost if they were unaware of what they had to begin with. It can be helpful for homeowners to complete and maintain a list of all their belongings, especially those that are valuable. This can include family heirlooms, collectibles, artwork and items that owners hold dear for personal reasons. As an added benefit, maintaining this list can also be helpful when selling a home and relocating when it comes to pinpointing items that may have been misplaced in the move.
Keep records safe
Holding documents in a guarded location, such as fireproof safe or bank deposit box, can put owners at ease when it comes to their most important information. This includes everything from property deeds and insurance records to birth certificates, passports and Social Security cards.
Create an emergency kit
Homeowners should focus on protecting their property and themselves in an emergency. Creating a kit filled with first-aid items, batteries, non perishables and emergency contact numbers can help owners ensure they are safe in the event of a disaster. In addition, owners should ensure they have cash in the kit as well for hotel and travel expenses.