For Immediate Release: August 24, 2011
It's Not Too Late to Prepare for Hurricane Irene
Insurance Commissioner offers tips for what to do before the storm
RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin urges all North Carolinians to take simple but important steps to protect their families and investments as the threat of Hurricane Irene approaches.
"It is not too late to prepare," Goodwin said. "There are things you can do right now that will ease the insurance claims process if you suffer damage or loss of property from the storm."
Create a Home Inventory
- The purpose of a home inventory is to document what you own to help the insurance company evaluate your loss.
- Go room to room in your home, and write down the brand name/description, estimated value and date of purchase of items in your home. It is also helpful to compile receipts.
- Videotape or photograph your belongings. Remember to show the insides of closets, your garage and any storage spaces.
- Keep your inventory in a safe place. If possible, e-mail the list, photos and video to a friend or family member outside of the hurricane threat. If you evacuate your home, take your home inventory with you.
Collect and Review Important Documents
- Gather important paperwork, including insurance policies, medical records, prescriptions, etc. Bring copies with you if you evacuate your home.
- Know exactly what your insurance policy does and does not cover. Remember, no homeowners policy covers flooding. The only way to protect your property from flood losses is to purchase flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program; policies must be in place for 30 days before coverage takes effect. Contact your agent for more information. Further, some policies in North Carolina's coastal areas may not cover wind-related damage.
Protect your Property
- Cover windows with storm shutters, siding or plywood.
- Move vehicles into garages when possible, or park near your home away from trees.
- Loose objects in your yard can become projectiles that can cause injuries to people or damage to homes. Move items such as grills, patio furniture and potted plants into your house or garage. Tie down anything that you cannot bring indoors.
For more information on disaster preparedness, click on this NCDOI Consumer Web site.