When It Rains, It Pours: Preparing For and Recovering From Mother Nature

Photo courtesy of USA Today

While most of the Northeast is still grappling with the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, they may soon have more high winds, rain, and possibly snow to deal with.  What is known as a “nor’easter” is expected to hit the eastern coast beginning tonight.

Here are some tips courtesy of www.cleveland.com to consider when dealing with the aftermath of severe storms.

If your power is out…

  • Leave your deep freezer shut.  Every time you open the door, the temperature will rise in the freezer.  Food in a fully stocked freezer should be OK for 24 hours in the event of a power outage.  Food in a partially stocked freezer will thaw sooner.
  • If uncooked meat thaws, you can cook it and either eat it or refreeze the cooked product.  Thawed cooked meats cannot be refrozen.  The rule of thumb: When in doubt, throw it out.
  • Play it safe with power.  Keep gas-powered generators outside and away from windows and vents to avoid deadly carbon monoxide buildup in your home.  If you start to feel sick or dizzy, turn the generator off and get fresh air.  Never try to heat your home or apartment with a gas stove.
  • Unplug appliances.  Avoid power surge damage to computers and televisions by unplugging them until power has been restored.

If your property sustained damage…

  • Call your insurance agent and/or insurance company.  If your insurance agent’s office is closed due to a power outage, call your insurance company.
  • Document damage.  Take photographs or videos right away.  Make a list of losses and round up receipts if you have them.
  • Protect your home.  Do what you safely can to stop additional damage.  For example, arrange to have a tarp placed over damaged roofing or board up a missing window.  If you will need to make an insurance claim, don’t start permanent repairs until you talk to your insurer.
  • If you have fallen trees or tree damage, refer to our blog post on tree damage at https://blog.central-insurance.com/2012/07/03/tree-damage-are-you-insured/.

Of course, during the winter months in many parts of the U.S., severe storms mean heavy snow and possibly blizzard conditions. Here are some tips courtesy of www.weather.com to help you prepare…

  • Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio, which broadcasts all of the latest weather updates as well as winter storm watches and warnings for your area. Learn more at www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/.
  • Stock up on emergency supplies.  Bottled water, non-perishable food, flashlights, and batteries.
  • Consider purchasing a generator if you don’t already have one.
  • Make sure to charge your mobile phone, laptop, and other mobile device batteries.
  • Let your faucets drip to prevent freezing water from causing pipes to burst.
  • Make sure your pipes are properly insulated and leave cabinet doors open around pipes to ensure they receive warmth from the air flowing through your home.
  • Learn how to shut off your home’s water valves in the event that a pipe breaks.

Some simple steps now can help you prevent serious injury or damage during a storm.  What other tips do you have for preparing for Mother Nature’s wrath?

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