As we are all well aware of at this point, hurricane season is in full swing.  Potential threats from hurricanes include powerful winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, tornadoes, and landslides.  According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an estimated 15 to 21 named storms will develop this season—including tropical storms (wind speeds of 39 mph or higher) and hurricanes (winds 74 mph or higher).

The best time to prepare for a hurricane is well in advance of any impending storms (and well before everyone clears the shelves of local stores of water and canned goods).  Here are five important steps to take now so you are ready to ride out this year’s storm season as safely as possible:


  1. Review Your Insurance Policies: Protecting your home includes understanding your existing insurance coverage. This includes finding out if you need flood insurance, as a standard home insurance policy does not include flood insurance. If you have questions about your coverage, call us at 727-846-1000.  Make sure you keep any important documents, including insurance policies, in a water-tight folder or bag to ensure they stay dry and well-protected, and back them up to a cloud-based system.

  2. Create (or Update) Your Personal Property Inventory: Before any hurricane warnings are issued, make an inventory of all personal property in your home (including furniture, clothing, appliances, and electronics). Walk through your home, room by room, and around the outside of your home, and make a list of everything you would make a claim for (and take pictures!).  That way, you will have documentation and evidence of all your personal property if you need to file an insurance claim.  Your inventory should also include any inspection reports and other documentation related to the condition of your property.  We suggest updating this inventory every few months!

  3. Make a Hurricane Plan: Make sure everyone in your home knows which room your family will use as a “safe room” during a storm, or where your family would go if they had to evacuate. Make a disaster plan for your pets. Become familiar with the closest evacuation routes from your home.  Lastly, make sure your hurricane supplies are fully stocked and have your hurricane “go-bag” packed and ready to go.  This “go-bag” should include essential storm survival items, including those on this list (link: https://www.ready.gov/kit). Keep these items in a bag that you can quickly grab if you need to leave your home in a moment’s notice.
  4. Prepare Your Property: Now is the time to take care of routine home maintenance measures to safeguard your home from unnecessary damage. This includes checking the roof for any damage and making any necessary repairs. If you have any trees on your property, make sure no branches are overhanging the roof, which can break off and puncture a roof during a storm. Be sure to clean your gutters to prevent any drainage issues at your home.

Despite making all of the proper preparations, damage to your home can still happen. If you find any damage to your property, the attorneys at Doran, Beam & Farrell, P.A. are ready to answer any questions and advise you of your options moving forward. To schedule a FREE consultation, call or text us at 727-846-1000 or complete our online contact form.