Just as important as it is to know how to prepare for and stay safe during a hurricane, it is also important to know what to do once a hurricane has passed.

The first thing you want to do is pay attention to official government statements and those from local authorities, giving the “all-clear” to go outside or return to the area. Make sure you stay away from flooded streets and heavy debris, especially power lines that may have been knocked down during the storm (report downed power lines to police and utilities companies).

As soon as you can, inspect your property and car(s) inside and out. Take pictures to document any damage your car or your home may have sustained. Contact your insurance company promptly so that you can begin the claim process if needed.

Prevent possible further damage to your home by placing a temporary tarp over your roof, boarding up any broken windows or doors, and checking for electrical or plumbing damage which can cause fires or floods. Standing water should be removed as soon as possible to prevent additional structural damage and mold. If there is anything you do not feel comfortable doing it is always best to contact a qualified professional who can help you.

During clean-up of your home wear proper equipment like work boots, long sleeves, gloves, a hard hat and mask to protect yourself. Watch out for broken glass, nails or screws that may have become exposed, and structural damage such as cracks, gaps, and buckling on the wall, ceilings, and foundation that may lead to partial or complete collapse.

Do not begin any repairs until speaking with your insurance agent first regarding your claim. You will need to document and communicate all damages to your property and belongings with your insurance agent, even if they seem minimal. Make sure to provide updated contact information to keep you up to date with the claim process.

Disasters often times lead to unforeseen and costly expenses. Talk to one of our agents today about Cat4home, a new insurance product that offers coverage for your hurricane deductible and additional expenses that may be excluded or limited on your primary policy.