Mississippi Commissioner of Insurance Mike Chaney issued a statement urging coastal homeowners to take steps to protect their homes until the danger of Hurricane Isaac has passed.The commissioner advised homeowners that they should carry with them a home inventory when evacuating their homes.
“As the storm continues to intensify and threaten the Gulf Coast so does the potential of severe damage,” said Commissioner Chaney. “Having those documents can help make sure homeowners are ready to file a claim and collect insurance for any damage that may occur.”
The Mississippi Insurance Department has prepared a special hurricane preparedness page on its website with tips of what to do both before and after a storm. Among the before the storm tips are the following:
• For personal safety, identify what storm shelter is available and prepare an evacuation plan. Choose two meeting places: one right outside the home; and one
outside the neighborhood in case homeowners can’t return to their homes.
• Make sure to have bottled water, a first aid kit, flashlights, a battery-powered radio, non-perishable food items, blankets, clothing, prescription drugs, eyeglasses, personal hygiene supplies, and a small amount of cash or traveler’s checks.
• Make a plan for pets. Not all emergency shelters will take pets. Check with the local veterinarian for help with a plan.
• If homeowners need to evacuate their homes, turn off all utilities and disconnect appliances.
• Take proactive steps to protect the property from loss. Install storm shutters or cover windows prior to a hurricane. Be sure there is no loose siding on the home and no damaged or diseased trees growing over the home.
• Move all important documents to a safe location. Take them along when evacuating or store them in a safe deposit box outside the area.
• Take an inventory of the personal property, such as clothes, jewelry, furniture, computers and audio/video equipment. Photos and video of the home, as well as sales receipts and the model and serial numbers of items, will make filing a claim simpler.
• Leave a copy of the inventory with friends or relatives, e-mail it to oneself, and/or store it in a safe location. In addition, add insurance information to the inventory information – the name of the company and agent, policy number and contact information.