Hurricane Season is Coming
Tylka Law attorneys live in Galveston and League City, and often see the devastating effects of hurricane season. In fact, some years ago a hurricane destroyed one of our own Galveston offices! We know first hand both the devastation caused by a hurricane and the needed cleanup afterward, and the 2017 hurricane season is on its way. We have put together a list below that will help mitigate some of the damage caused by hurricanes.
Hurricane & Storm Insurance
Hurricane and storm damage is not typically covered by homeowners insurance and must be purchased separately. When you purchase hurricane and storm insurance, make sure all applicable property is included. Consider your car, business, loss of rent, jewelry and electronics when purchasing insurance. Also make sure you have enough coverage, and update this yearly.
Exterior Gardening and Home Repairs
“Gardening? Home repairs? I thought this was about hurricanes!” one might say. Some of the biggest hazards to your home, cars and property are items like unsecured tree branches and roofing material. While they might not weigh a lot, during a hurricane they become lethal missiles destroying cars, breaking down walls and killing people. In the month or two before hurricane season, take a look around your home to see if there are any questionable hazards. If you are unsure of your roof’s stability, contact a local roofer. Likewise, if you are unsure about a tree on your property, contact a tree trimmer or removal service for an evaluation.
We recommend taking the following steps to secure your home in the week leading up to a hurricane:
- Secure Windows and Doors: Use thick plywood, hurricane shutters and/or other material to prevent debris and water coming through your windows and doors. Securing windows is especially important as wind and shattered glass is typically lethal.
- Purchase Non-Perishable Food: According to the US Coast Guard, each home should have at least 72-hours of food and water per person on hand. Power outages are likely during a hurricane, so also consider purchasing non-perishable food such as peanut butter, beef jerky, trail mix and crackers. Consider keeping a sterno or portable stove on hand for boiling water and canned soups. Don’t forget your pets! If you have a cat or dog, make sure food and water is available for them as well.
- Store Water for Sanitation: Have some extra water on hand for baths, flushing toilets, and simple cleaning (like hand-washing). If you run out of water and own a water heater tank, extra water may be available inside of the water heater for emergency purposes.
- Purchase or Make a First-Aid Kit: During a hurricane, emergency responders will typically take a long time to get to you. Having a first aid kit on hand can help alleviate any non-critical wounds.
- Sand Bags and Flood Barriers: If you live in a known flood-zone, seriously consider purchasing sand bags or other flood barriers for the exterior of your home. Even if flood insurance covers all of your property damages, it can still take months to get back to normal. A preventative step can alleviate a lot of stress.
- Generator: If your property can accommodate a generator, we recommend purchasing one. A generator can immediately restore power, heat and light to your home during an outage.
After the Storm
After you take account of you and your family, start documenting all property damage. Take photos, make lists, and then contact your insurer. Assuming you purchased enough coverage, they should be able to cover the full value of your damages.
Hurricane and Storm Lawyers
Tylka Law Texas hurricane and storm lawyers know that insurance doesn’t always pay. It can unfortunately be a negotiation process between you and the insurer, even if you purchased full coverage. If you have legal questions or need help, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We offer a free consultation for all windstorm and flood damage claims, and our offices are conveniently located in Galveston and League City.