Sep 19 2018

Disaster Preparedness for Homeowners

Homeowners in New England should be prepared for all types of disasters. From house fires to hurricanes and tornadoes, disasters can strike without warning, which is why it’s critical to start preparing today. Here at Bearingstar Insurance, we have witnessed first hand the emotional and financial toll the unexpected can have on homeowners. Therefore, we’re offering information for developing an emergency plan along with insurance insights to protect you, your family, and your home in the event of a disaster.


Make and Practice An Emergency Plan

When faced with an emergency, having a plan already in place for what to do next makes all the difference. First, your family should discuss the different types of disasters that could affect your home and family and how your response would differ depending on the situation. For example, in the event of a house fire, be sure to review all of the ways out of your home and determine a spot where your family will meet outside of your home. Or in the event of a hurricane, pick a safe location within your home to shelter in place and discuss plans in the event of an evacuation.

In addition to discussing different disaster scenarios, it’s important that your emergency plan is specific to the members of your household. Do you have small children, elderly family members or pets? These family members all have unique needs that need to be considered in an emergency.

Creating an emergency plan is critical to your family’s disaster preparation, but in an emergency, it’s also important to remain calm. Practicing your plan can help alleviate stress when disaster strikes and eliminate the fear of the unknown.


Build An Emergency Kit

Disasters can have devastating effects, damaging or destroying your home, which is why your emergency preparation should include a kit of basic items your household may need. Your disaster kit should be stored in airtight plastic bags and include the following:

  • Bottled water (3 day supply per person)
  • Non-perishable food (3 day supply per person)
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes
  • Pet food and extra water
  • Prescription and non-prescription medications
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

It’s also recommended to have copies of important family documents such as insurance policies, identification, and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container.


Evaluate Your Insurance Coverage

When it comes to protecting your home from a disaster, it’s important to understand that not all emergencies are alike. A standard homeowners insurance policy covers a wide range of potential disasters; however, there are policy limits and exclusions to these coverages. That’s why working with your local Bearingstar Insurance agent is essential to ensure that you have the proper coverage. In the event that your home is damaged or destroyed by a disaster, it’s important to understand how your home is insured. Oftentimes homeowners insure their property for the actual real estate value rather than the cost to rebuild; therefore, in the event of a claim, some homeowners find themselves underinsured.


Consider Added Layers of Protection

Not only will your Bearingstar Insurance agent walk you through your policy, we will also review and advise homeowners to consider added layers of protection if they have additional risks. For example, homeowners may want to consider purchasing a separate flood insurance or earthquake insurance policy to help protect against those unforeseen incidents. For other homeowners it may make sense to add another layer of protection with a personal umbrella insurance policy.


Disasters don’t plan ahead, but you can. Take the necessary steps to plan for a disaster today, and if you have unanswered questions about protecting your home, we’re here to help! Visit our website to connect with a Bearingstar Insurance agent near you to review your current homeowners insurance policy:


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