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Hurricane Insurance in Louisiana – Preparedness

Hurricane Insurance in Lousiana and Texas

Every year from mid-May to the end of November the southeastern United States and the Gulf Coast brace themselves for hurricane season.  Hurricanes not only batter the natural environment, they can cause substantial damage to homes, personal property and even take lives in Louisiana and Texas. Protect your home with a Hurricane Insurance Policy.  It is important to be prepared for not only hurricanes but also tornadoes, storm surges, flash flooding and mud slides.  Preparedness begins long before the storm.  Residents of these areas can stock up on non-perishable foods, bottled water, blankets, batteries and other necessities throughout the year. Make sure to check with your insurance agent about flood and other applicable insurance policies to ensure your family can fix or replace any property damaged from a hurricane.

Here are some helpful tips on preparing your home and family prior to, during and after a hurricane in Louisiana or Texas:

  • Stock pile bottled water, blankets, non-perishable food and important documents (insurance cards, licenses/passports, birth certificates, etc.) in an easy accessible, but secured location.  Having a water tight box like this one Otterbox, can give your important electronics like a radio, walk-talkie or emergency cell phone protection from the storm.
  • Make sure you communicate any emergency plans with family members.  Discuss evacuation routes, meeting points and write it down.
  • Be familiar with local surroundings.  Are you near power lines, a body of water, levee, where is the nearest high ground and the fastest access to it?
  • Know the height-level of your property.  Are you below sea level? Find out if your home is on a flood plain or in the path of a potential storm surge.
  • Take the proper precautions to make sure that your property is secure.
  • Cover windows with storm shutters or plywood.
  • Straps or clips will help anchor the roof to assist in damage prevention.
  • Trimming back trees and shrubs can help reduce loose branches that could damage your property.
  • Make sure gutters are clean and in good repair.
  • Ensure your garage door is reinforced and secure.
  • If you have any loose outside furniture like patio sets, toys, garbage cans, bring them indoors.
  • If you own a boat, talk with your mooring company to see how they recommend to secure it during a storm.
  • Procure a generation, make sure it is outdoors, do not use a generator indoors.
  • If your residence is in a building with more than 10 floors, seek shelter below the 10th floor.

During a hurricane, make sure you turn into your local news via radio or TV (if there is power) and listen for evacuation recommendations or other emergency instructions. Do NOT use a generator or camp stove indoors as you run the risk of getting carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • If it becomes necessary to turn off utilities or if you have lost power, make sure your refrigerator is set to its coldest setting.
  • Turn off all propane tanks.
  • Save phone batteries for emergency calls only.
  • Utilize the bath tub and fill with clean water to use for washing up and flushing toilets.  This water should not be consumed.
  • This USDA fact sheet will help determine how to keep food safe during a hurricane.
  • If it becomes necessary to evacuate, please follow the instructions given by your local authority.
  • Residences like mobile homes, high-rise buildings and homes below sea level or near a body of water are at risk for the most damage. Be aware of evacuation notices for your area.

Here are a few additional safety tips that can come in handy if you are not able to evacuate:

  • Stay away from doors and windows.  It is crucial to remain indoors.
  • Keep all doors closed and secured.
  • Draws blinds or curtains on windows.
  • Gather your family (don’t forget your pets!) in an interior room, preferably on the bottom floor and window free.
  • Project yourself by seeking shelter under a table or other sturdy object.
  • Do not use elevators.  Always use the stairs.

After a storm has passed there can still be danger from flooding or landslides. Be sure to listen to your local news for updates.  Be cautious when returning to evacuated homes as there could be hidden hazards like gas leaks or downed power lines.  Document the damage and contact your insurance agent immediately.

  • Listen to your local news, the National Weather service or NOAA for updates and safety advisories.
  • Rainfall and flooding can continue after the bulk of the storm has passed.  Keep aware of changing weather in your area.
  • In the event you and your family have become separated use services like FEMA and the American Red Cross to help locate wayward family members.  Remember your communication plan!
  • Be aware of the damage in your area.  Look for collapsing structures, flooded roads and downed power lines.  Stay away from hazards and report them to the proper authority.
  • Check for structural damage to your home, gas leaks or other hazards before entering your home.
  • Document the damage to your home, both inside and out.  If your home appears to be structurally damage, consult a structural engineer before entering.
  • Do not use candles to light the inside of your home (in case of gas leaks).  Battery-operated flashlights should be used, but turned on outside as the act of turning it on can cause a spark that could ignite gas if present.
  • Keep a close eye on pets and small children.  Wild animals are known to search for food in human-inhabited areas after a major storm.  Also beware of poisonous snakes. Use gloves when sifting through debris piles.
  • Check your local news to see if a boil order is in effect for tap water.  Do not use for cooking or drinking until you are sure it is safe.

Be prepared and be safe during hurricane season and call Glenn Dean Insurance in DeRidder, Oakdale or DeQuincy.

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