Running over the entire summer from June 1st to November 30th, hurricane season brings serious damage risks from high winds, rain, and flooding in storm-prone regions. Is your biggest asset well protected? Your home is most likely your family’s most valuable investment. Know that your current homeowner’s insurance policy may cover some damage brought on by a hurricane, but not all.
Running concurrently with hurricane season, wildfire season is a period when wildland fires are likely to occur, spread, and affect resource values sufficient to warrant organized fire management activities. Higher temperatures, reduced snowpack, increased drought risk, and longer warm seasons are increasing wildfire activity in the western United States.
Make sure you have the proper coverage
Review your homeowner’s insurance policy today to make sure your policy is up-to-date and you are properly protected for anything that may happen. Here are a few tips regarding damage brought on by hurricanes and wildfires.
In most states, standard homeowner’s policies cover damage caused by wind, including hurricanes. But if you live in a high-risk coastal state you might need to buy separate windstorm insurance. Check with your insurance company as it might also be available as a rider on your current policy. Windstorm insurance covers damage from any high wind, not just hurricanes. The cost of a separate windstorm policy depends on the amount of your deductible, where you live, and how much it would cost to rebuild your house.
Flood damage brought on by, or as the result of, a hurricane is not typically covered in a private homeowners insurance policy. U.S. law requires people to purchase basic flood insurance if their home is in a designated high-risk flood area with a federally backed mortgage. (See floodsmart.gov for more information.) But in 2017, Hurricane Harvey showed that flooding can also damage properties outside the highest-risk zones and affect homeowners who weren’t required to buy the additional coverage.
Check with the National Flood Insurance Program as you may be able to purchase a separate flood insurance to help cover such damage in your area.
Flood insurance policies impose a 30-day waiting period between the time you buy and the time coverage takes effect, so review your policy today. If a major storm has been forecast, there’s a chance that your current coverage will be locked in until that major weather event has passed.
Damage from wildfires and forest fires is most likely covered by your homeowner’s insurance, but coverage may vary by geographic location and by policy. You may also find that some insurers do not sell homeowner’s policies in areas where wildfires are common, or it may be offered by paying a higher premium. Check your policy or contact your agent to learn about terms and coverage limits.
The Insurance Information Institute (III) recommends reviewing the amount of coverage you have in place and make any necessary adjustments to help ensure your limits are in line with the potential cost of repairing or rebuilding your home.
Whether you’re buying homeowners insurance, flood insurance, windstorm insurance or wildfire insurance — or all four — make sure you have enough coverage to pay for the full cost of rebuilding your house. Your insurance agent can help you pinpoint the right amount.
Do we love to spring ahead or hate it? In a year filled with 8,760 hours, why do we think it’s such a big deal? It’s just 0.01141552511415525% of a year.
Aside from what you may have heard over your lifetime, farmers are not to blame and it was not created by Benjamin Franklin. Daylight saving time was actually first instituted by Germany on May 1, 1916 in an effort to conserve fuel during World War I.
Do we still need it today? U.S. states are starting to decide on an individual basis. The Florida Senate just approved a bill that once they spring ahead on March 11, 2018, they could remain there. The approval means the bill will go to the governor’s desk, but it doesn’t mean the “spring forward” clock change Sunday at 2 a.m. will put the state on permanent daylight saving time.
Currently, states can opt out of daylight saving time to stay on standard time, but cannot make daylight saving time permanent. So, it will be interesting to see what transpires in the coming weeks.
Most areas of the United States observe daylight saving time (DST), the exceptions being Arizona, Hawaii, and the overseas territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands.
Whether you love it or hate, know that it’s a good time to do a few inexpensive, routine updates in and around your home.
These alarms save lives! For just a few dollars and minutes of your time, you can economically and quickly replace the batteries and know your family is safer.
This can be a lifesaver in a power outage or if you get stranded in your car in bad weather. Make sure you have a long-lasting LED flashlight, a reflective vest for walking at night, non-perishable snacks, water and a warm blanket. Go to www.ready.gov/build-a-kit for more detailed kit information.
Spring often brings rain so make sure your sump pump is draining properly. Do not wait until a major snow thaw or rainstorm to find out that the pump’s motor is shot and you have 4” of water in your basement. It’s also a good idea to invest in a backup battery in the event of a power outage.
Did you just get through a harsh winter? Take a walk around the outside of the house: Are there cracks in the concrete? Is the driveway in good condition? Check the roof for signs of loose or broken shingles. Look up at the chimney for signs of wear. Check the facade and foundation for cracks or signs of water pooling.
If you have any clocks in your home that run on batteries, make sure to set them ahead one hour before you head to bed. If you have an older model car like me, make sure to change the clock on your dash as well. Then when you wake it you’ll be on the right track.
As for keeping your body on track, you know that it’s coming, so maybe hop into bed an hour early on Saturday night.
Now that January has come to a close and Super Bowl Sunday is just days away, fans will cheer on the Patriots and Falcons in the final game of the 2016-17 NFL season. Less fanatic fans will be glued to the set during commercials to see which company has the best Super Bowl 51 ad, including the first ever LIVE Super Bowl commercial: www.adweek.com/news/live
Quite often I get bored seeing every commercial try to outdo the next, especially knowing the exorbitant number of dollars being spent, and find myself switching over to the Puppy Bowl (www.puppy-bowl). This year, Fox is reportedly asking up to $5.5 million for a 30-second spot. That’s a shocking $183,333.00 per second. (And that amount is only the fee paid to Fox for the time slot. Companies often spend upwards of a million to have their commercial produced.) To help put that into perspective, in 2016 the median cost of a home in the U.S. was $193,800.00. How incredibly marvelous would it be if just one company pledged their $5.5 million to put 30 families-in-need into homes?
The majority of us, minus an elite, exceptionally-talented few, will never have the experience of playing in and winning a Super Bowl...or an NCAA Championship, or maybe not even a softball league. With that slightly humbling reality check, what is the Super Bowl of your life?
Was it buying your first car or maybe getting married? Could it be owning a home or being blessed with children? And most significantly, were you genuinely prepared?
There are so many things in life that take us by surprise that we couldn’t possibly prepare for. But for the events you know are coming, preparing financially, mentally and physically will help to reduce your stress and help to ensure your success.
Do any of the following three phrases sound familiar?
At CRS Temporary Housing, we understand that an unexpected calamity can destroy your home. Weather-related disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes and floods, along with other incidents such as a house fire or pipe burst, can thoroughly disrupt your life. Repairs and/or reconstruction of your home can be a long haul and challenging process to endure. We strive to do our very best to reduce the stress of our customers’ temporary living situation by listening to their needs and expectations to create comfortable solutions.
Hurricane Matthew is expected to make landfall in Florida soon. While you prepare to evacuate or shelter in place, here are some helpful safety tips from The Weather Channel:
· Follow all directions and orders from local officials, and leave immediately when instructed to do so.
· Bring emergency supplies, including a first aid kit, medicines, food, water, formula and diapers, toiletries, cell phones, radios, and batteries.
· Bring extra cash and copies of important papers such as insurance policies.
· Bring blankets, sleeping bags, books, and games.
· Unplug appliances, turn off utilities such as electricity and the main water valve.
· Lock the windows and doors of your home.
· Stay at home! Leave the roads available for those who must evacuate.
· Clean your bathtub with bleach and fill it with water for washing and flushing (not drinking).
· Set your refrigerator to maximum cold and keep it closed.
· Turn off your utilities if told to do so by local officials.
· Go to an interior room and stay away from windows and doors, even though they're covered.
· During very strong winds, lie under something sturdy.
· Do not go outside, including during passage of the eye of the hurricane.
CRS is tracking and preparing for Hurricane Matthew. Our Catastrophe team is ready to assist both insurance adjusters and policyholders with immediate emergency hotel and housing assistance.
Some insurance companies are also deploying catastrophe response teams to assist with claim reports in their mobile units and call centers. Among those currently preparing include Allstate, CNA Insurance and GEICO.
Current Red Cross Shelter information: https://www.google.org/crisismap/florida_emergency_preparedness
September is recognized as National Preparedness Month. Sponsored by FEMA since 2004, the campaign encourages Americans to take steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses, schools, and communities.
Preparing and creating a plan for an emergency can be overwhelming, but it is important. Instead of trying to do it all in one day, use this weekly guide to get your emergency plan done and be a part of America’s National Preparedness Month.Organize your plan with the CRS Emergency Plan you can download here