Hurricane Preparedness Week: How to prepare before the season starts

ORLANDO, Fla. — Hurricane season is a month away. Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said that means now is the time to prepare.

“There is nothing more important than having a disaster plan in place to protect you, your family, and your home,” he said.

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Patronis offers the following four tips that you can put into action now before hurricane season starts:

1. Secure flood insurance coverage. Standard homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover flood damage. If you live in a flood-prone area, contact your agent about obtaining flood insurance. There are over 30 insurance carriers writing flood insurance in Florida’s private insurance market. Depending on your home’s location, you may qualify to enroll in the federally-administered National Flood Insurance Program.

2. Ensure you are adequately covered. The value of your home and possessions may have increased during the past several years, or you may have made improvements or purchased expensive personal items. Review your insurance policy and check your coverage limits.

READ: May 1-May 7: Hurricane Preparedness Week, what you need to know about storm season

3. Consider additional living expense coverage. Additional living expense features of most homeowners’ policies pay some expenses for losses that leave homes unlivable during repairs. Such expenses could include limited motel, restaurant and storage costs.

4. Do not wait until a storm approaches. Property insurance companies do not accept new applications or requests to increase coverage once a hurricane nears Florida, so it is important not to wait until a storm is imminent to verify coverages. In addition, most flood insurance policies take 30 days to go into effect, so it is vital to act now.

See: Tropical system terms explained

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.