Colorado weather can be extremely volatile. In the spring, it’s very possible to have a snowstorm one day and a thunderstorm the next. Although being prepared for a storm is not top of mind when the news is full of information about the COVID-19 Pandemic, being prepared may make dealing with a disaster much easier during this stressful time. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Remember that sheltering in place may make it more difficult to remain safe or get to safety. Have a plan for where you can go within your home or business should a tornado or severe storm be in your area.
Be sure to have clear communication with your family, coworkers, and others should you need to evacuate. Also, be sure everyone knows what to do, where to go, and how to stay safe.
It can be very helpful to designate roles for members of the household or business. For instance, you can have someone in charge of your pets, someone in charge of access to news information like the national weather service, someone in charge of food and supplies, etc.
Protect Your Property
Last year, Colorado recorded a record-sized hailstone during a storm which brought large hail and heavy rain to Bethune, Colorado. The large hailstone recorded was 4.83 inches in diameter, which is bigger than a baseball! Hail damage from a hailstone like this would be extremely significant if it hit an individual or their property.
Do you know what kind of emergency equipment you have on hand? Do you have any plywood or old boards in your garage or shed should you need to board up a window? What about sheeting you can use to stop a leak if you have a hole in your roof?
Do you have sufficient gas for your backup generator or chain saw? Do you have an alternate way to save refrigerated perishables? These are good things to prep for in the event you need to find these supplies quickly.
As the United States and the rest of the world knows from the COVID-19 global outbreak, supply chains can be halted or very limited during emergency situations. The best time to prepare for such an event is before it happens.
Contact Your Insurance Agent
If you do experience any damage from a storm, one of the first calls you will want to make is to your insurance agent. Do you have their contact information in your cell phone? Do you know where your policies are, or how to access that information readily?
In addition, do you know what your policies cover? Are you aware that a typical homeowners insurance policy does not cover losses due to flooding? If you have not discussed your policies with your agent in the last 12 months, it’s time to pick up the phone and make sure you have the appropriate coverages for your property.
Keep Your Personal Property Inventory Updated
During the time you are sheltering in place, it may be a good idea to video all of your contents and upload that file to the cloud so it can be accessed from anywhere. If your property sustains any damage, having this information on file will save you a lot of time, energy, and stress.
Have An Emergency Contact List
Who is your “go-to” roofer or handyman? Do you have an electrician or plumber you can call and have them over in a hurry? Touch base with these folks, and make sure they can get to you quickly if there is an emergency.
Storm damage is stressful on its own, but in the middle of a pandemic, it may be especially overwhelming. Please give us a call if you have any questions about your insurance policies, or how to prepare for the upcoming hail / storm season.