Hurricane Season 2020: Getting Your House in Order

Hurricanes on top of a pandemic? Seems almost comical at this point. But, unfunny truth—scientists are predicting at least as many if not more storms this year than years previous. For context, last year we had 20, and this year could see anywhere from 15-24. So, while it’d be great if we knew when, where, and how strong these storms will be, the best any of us parents can do is be prepared.

Let’s start with how to prepare financially:

  1. Make sure you have enough home insurance to cover damage from hurricane winds, rain, and/or flooding. How much coverage is enough? Well, that depends on a lot of things, like how much it would cost to rebuild your home and how much you think all your stuff is worth. Our quick quote can help talk you through all that.
  2. Special tip for our Texas families—make sure your current home policy covers hurricane damage. Unfortunately, many insurers don’t cover storm damage in higher-risk areas like the Gulf, which means you need to purchase additional coverage to get the protection you need. (Shameless plug, Apparent does cover damage from hurricane-related winds and floods! You can get started here.)
  3. Special tip for people who like saving money—use this as a chance to bundle your home and car insurance! Start here to discover how our members who bundle home and auto can save up to 9%.
  4. Keep a hard copy of your insurance policies in a safe deposit box in a place that’s less likely to flood. And before you lock them away, take photos of all of them to keep on your phone or flash drive. Sure, it may seem like a bit of a nuisance to think about now, but it will give you some major peace of mind as soon as it’s done.

Now let’s review some tips from the American Red Cross about how to prepare practically:

  1. Put together an emergency preparedness kit.
  2. Know your evacuation routes and have a plan.
  3. Ensure that every member of your family carries a Safe and Well wallet card.
  4. Make sure you have access to NOAA radio broadcasts:
    1. Find an online NOAA radio station.
    2. Search for a NOAA radio app in the Apple Store or Google Play.
    3. Purchase a battery-powered or hand-crank NOAA radio in the Red Cross Store

And especially important for families, how to prepare emotionally. Talk with your kids about hurricanes and how you’ve taken all the steps necessary to keep them safe. Younger kids may be open with their questions and fears, but teenagers? Not so much. Be sure to let them know you are there for them, if and when they have any questions.

And for kids of all ages, don’t gloss over the realities. Trust is the most important thing, so make sure you’re being honest as you reassure them. Certainly, hold back any unnecessarily grim details if you can, because it’s still ok to tell them only what’s age appropriate. Also, consider limiting the number of scary photos or footage they might see on the news (that’s probably a good idea for everyone). Let them know that your family isn’t alone, and that there are teams of people at the ready to help you literally weather the storm. Sometimes, just knowing you have a big family to count on is one of the best ways to get through the tough stuff.