As if we needed a reminder, last night definitely served as one that Spring storm season is upon us! Storms have never really scared me. I guess that has a lot to do with my dad, and the fact that he was always out on our northern deck watching as the storms would roll in and across the sky with lightning flashing down and thunder booming in the distance. I've always felt safe and secure, and even when my parents would come get my brother & I to take cover in the basement, I never really felt afraid.
Then May 4, 2003 happened. And then March 12, 2006 happened. The first time a tornado hit I wasn't at home, but at college as I watched metal tin fall from the sky into the church parking lot I was standing in. But on March 12, I was at home--and took cover with my parents and our 3 dogs in the basement as the windows began to shake, and we knew another tornado was upon us. As the storms passed, we emerged to find that my childhood home was undamaged, but trees laid like match-sticks and limbs had been tossed all over.
Even with that first hand experience, I still wouldn't say that I'm afraid of storms, just very much aware. As I've gotten older, and maybe more importantly, became a mom, I'm definitely hyper-aware of the weather around us. But even now, I love to hear the rolling of thunder, and the pounding of rain on my windows. I could just do without the tornadic winds, and golf-ball sized hail.
Storms are also something we deal with A LOT at Smart Insurance, and living in Southwest Missouri, it's inevitable that with springtime upon us---storms will start rolling in. So...we want you to be prepared for how to respond after those storms roll through!
How to Check Your Property for Damage After a Storm
The National Storm Damage Center has a number of resources and tips for homeowners. Here are a few things they – and we here at Smart Insurance – recommend you check after a storm:
1. Your roof: If you see holes, split seams or missing shingles on your roof or if you notice leaking inside or out, it’s a good idea to have a qualified inspector come assess the situation.
2. Your exterior: Siding, brick and stucco are all vulnerable to storm damage. You’ll want to look for cracking, chipping or dings and dents in siding, and for holes in stucco.
3. Trees: According to the National Storm Damage Center, fallen trees and limbs cause more than $1 billion in damage annually. Check roofs, vehicles, fences and machinery for fallen limbs that may have caused damage or could pose a risk. Clean up what you safely can and rely on a reputable tree removal service to handle the rest. Depending on the circumstances, your homeowners insurance policy may help with tree removal and damage repair costs – if you experience a covered loss, that is.
A few more helpful tips:
Keep trees well maintained and trimmed. Also notify neighbors if you see any overhanging branches on any of theirs.
Know your insurance. Take a look at your policy so you know what’s covered, what your limits and deductibles are, etc. This will prevent any surprises during the claims process.
Take pictures. Photographs can help you show the cause and extent of any storm damage that occurs.
Of course, if you’ve suffered through a major storm, don’t hesitate to call us at Smart Insurance for help with an insurance claim or with finding a professional property inspector.
For further questions and assistance, please contact Smart Insurance Agency at 417-258-2541 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some content of this article provided by Safeco Insurance