Hurricane season will be here before you know it - June 1, to be exact. Yep, it’s time for Floridians to start getting their homes – and themselves – ready for whatever Mother Nature may bring this year. As a renter, you may think this topic doesn’t apply to you, but it does!
While you may not own the house or apartment you currently reside in, you likely have valuable items in your rental. Imagine having to replace ALL your belongings at one time if you suffered a major loss – and while hurricanes are pretty seasonal, keep in mind that fires or tornadoes, which are incredibly destructive events, as well, can occur any time of year.
There are plenty of measures you can take to protect your home as a renter:
1. PURCHASE RENTERS INSURANCE
Your landlord’s homeowners’ policy does not protect your possessions in the event of a disaster. You can purchase a renter’s policy at relatively low monthly costs that will cover your valuables, electronics, furniture, and more if they are damaged. Make sure to carefully review your policy and understand your deductible and limits before you ever need to file a claim.
2. DOCUMENT YOUR POSSESSIONS
It’s a good idea to take the time to create a master list of the items in your home. Take photos and write down a rough estimate of what each item is worth, as well as model numbers and manufacturer’s names. If you file a claim, you will need to document any losses. Supplying before and after photos is a great way to make sure that all your belongings are accounted for after a covered loss.
3. MAKE A PLAN
If your home is affected by a hurricane advisory, you should have a plan that you can put into action quickly. In the event of an evacuation, it’s good to have all your important documents together in a waterproof container. Create an emergency supply kit – and don’t forget to add medicine, glasses, device chargers and other essentials. Discuss your evacuation plan with all family members and designate responsibilities should you have to put your plan in action. Keep your furry friends in mind as you prepare.
You can also register to receive notifications from AlertFlorida, a statewide emergency notification Initiative sponsored by the Florida Division of Emergency, to keep you in the loop about any weather alerts and other safety notifications in your area.
4. PROTECT YOUR OUTDOOR ITEMS
Spend some time clearing and designating a space to store and protect any outdoor items that could be damaged during a storm. Have enough space to accommodate outdoor furniture, planters, grills, etc. And if your apartment is on a higher floor, find out if there is a location on a lower level of the building where you could ride out the storm, if you are unable to evacuate.
5. ASSESS YOUR HOME
Check windows and doors for potential leak areas. Inspect the property for dead branches or trees that could become projectiles in a wind event. Look for pooling areas and be aware of potential flooding around your entry/exit areas. Talk to your landlord about repairing any areas that need attention.
6. Call or email us so we can further walk you through what you need to do to keep your family, yourself, and your home safe from any storm!