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Winter storms are already affecting various parts of the country, bringing with them potentially perilous side effects like falling trees, collapsing roofs, and other ice- and debris-related troubles for homeowners. Here are some tips you can use to prepare for winter weather, plus a few things to know if you do have to deal with storm damage at your home:
How To Prepare For A Winter Storm
Understand The Details Of Your Insurance Policies
There are a lot of insurance options out there, so it’s a good idea to do an at-least annual review of your various insurance policies so that you always know exactly what is covered. If you need to adjust coverage to account for any additional home renovations or other changes since you first got a policy, contact your insurance company proactively to make sure your home stays properly covered.
Keep Your Documents In A Safe Place
You never know when having quick and easy access to information like your insurance policies, home warranty, emergency contact numbers, medical records, and other vital documents might help you. Here are some recommendations from Ready.gov to help you get organized before an emergency.
Pre-Check Your Property For Hazards
If you are able to safely do so before winter weather hits, look around your property for trees and other structures that could pose a potential threat during storms. High winds, ice, snow, and hail all have the potential to wreak havoc on a dead tree, as they can be prone to collapsing under the weight of snow or ice and, as a result, could cause damage to your home, car, or fencing in your yard.
Know the Risks Of Winter Weather
Despite all of its icy coldness, winter can also bring increased risk of fire thanks to things like holiday lighting and space heating. Always consult a professionally licensed electrician for any electrical work in your home, and if you have a fireplace, make sure to maintain it all year round so that it’s able to keep you cozy all winter.
How To Handle Winter Storm Damage To Your Home
Assess Your Personal Safety
After a winter storm strikes, the most important thing is your and your family’s personal safety. Stay informed about weather conditions by keeping up with local news outlets, as well as emergency resources that might be available to you.
Contact Your Insurance Company
In the event that there is winter storm damage to your home, you’ll want to immediately re-review your coverage and notify your insurance company about the damage. If you’re a Mr. Cooper customer, here are a few helpful steps to take for insurance claims regarding damage to your home.
Take Photos of the Storm Damage
If it is safe to stay in your home and capture photos, take them as soon as possible so that you can include them when you file any insurance claims.
Remain Calm, And Take Your Time
Once you are safely out of the storm and regardless of the damages to your home, the most important thing is keeping yourself and your family safe. Dealing with storm damage can be emotionally and physically exhausting for homeowners, so make sure to take the time to care for yourself while you carefully prepare to repair your home. This can include asking questions when you speak to insurance claims adjustors, taking notes to keep up with new information, and even saving receipts for expenses you might have out of pocket.