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Services for Consumers

Disaster and Recovery

How to Prepare for an Approaching Storm

Before the storm hits:

  • Make an inventory list of your belongings and record them on film through still photos or videotape. Include a close-up shot of the day's newspaper.
  • Keep your inventory list, purchase receipts, pictures and your insurance policy in a safe-deposit box or other safe place away from your home.
  • If you are forced to evacuate, take a copy of your insurance policy with you.
  • Take action to protect your property:
    1. cover your windows with storm shutters, siding or plywood.
    2. move vehicles into garages, if possible, or park them near your home and away from trees.
    3. move grills, patio furniture and potted plants into the house or garage. Loose objects in your yard can become missiles, so tie down anything you can not bring indoors.

After a storm hits:

  • Contact your insurance agent as quickly as possible and ask for instructions on what to do until your adjuster arrives.
  • Make a list of your personal property that has been damaged or destroyed. Take pictures of the damaged property.
  • Protect your property from further damage. Your reasonable expenses to protect your property are part of the loss and are generally reimbursed by insurance companies. Keep all receipts.
  • Do not have permanent repairs made until your insurance company has inspected the property and you have reached an agreement on the cost of repairs.
  • If necessary, rent temporary shelter. If your home in uninhabitable, most homeowners policies pay additional living expenses while your property is being repaired. Before renting temporary shelter, check with your insurance company or agent to determine what expenses will be reimbursed.

If you have any questions or problems concerning your insurance coverage, contact the Consumer Services Division of the NC Department of Insurance toll-free at 800-546-5664 (toll free in N.C.).