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Insurance Insights

Weather Disasters | Emergency Preparedness Tips

By Justin Staebler | Johnson Financial Group

3 minute read time

Disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes can strike with little or no warning. According to the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), “There were 20 weather/climate disaster events each with losses exceeding $1 billion in the United States last year”. NCEI has compiled a website detailing the impact of these weather and climate disasters, including the various types, frequency and severity.

Weather and climate disasters have contributed to the rise in home insurance claims and insurance costs; however, there are multiple contributing factors. For example, pandemic-related shortages in labor and building supplies have also increased the cost to repair damages and replace homes. It is also important to keep in mind insurance risks are disbursed across a large geographical area instead of one state or community. The transfer of risk across a larger area reduces the spikes you could see if an area was impacted by one major storm, fire, or other disaster.

When you look at the big picture, you can understand why we are seeing an increase in the cost of insurance. Many factors play a role. Natural disasters happening across the country, pandemic-related shortages, and the higher costs of goods and services due to inflation can all impact your local cost.

JUSTIN STAEBLER

SVP, Personal and Life Insurance, Johnson Financial Group

Reviewing your Personal Insurance Policy is Important

It is increasingly important to understand your coverage and which weather disasters and perils are covered under your homeowners insurance policy. Most policies cover some “Acts of God”, like damage from wind, hail or fires. Other insurance policies such as flooding and earthquakes must be purchased separately.

Take the time to do an insurance review with your personal insurance advisor. Your advisor can help you understand your coverage and identify gaps. Independent insurance agents, like Johnson Financial Group, also have access to a range of companies to ensure you have the best coverage for your individual situation.

Preparing for Weather Disasters

To ensure that you and your family are prepared, make it a priority to create emergency kits that you can use in case you need to evacuate or get trapped inside your home for several days. Include your entire family in the process of assembling emergency kits so your kids understand the importance of being prepared too.

Evacuation Kits

To prepare for a quick evacuation, keep the following items in an emergency backpack that you can easily grab and go: 

  • Nonperishable foods and a gallon of water per family member
  • Can opener, plastic cups and eating utensils 
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Battery-operated radio
  • Change of clothing for each family member
  • Contact information for your family and a relative or friend out of state
  • First-aid kit
  • Personal identification cards for each family member 
  • Personal hygiene items and hand sanitizer 
  • Medications that are needed regularly

Homebound Kits

Just as important as an evacuation kit, homebound kits are filled with necessary items when you cannot leave your home for several days due to a crisis. Place the following items in a designated area of your home to be ready for an emergency:

  • Three gallons of water per family member 
  • Canned food for at least three days
  • Pet foods and supplies for three days 
  • Personal hygiene items 
  • Unscented bleach 
  • Blankets 
  • Books, games and other forms of entertainment
  • Paper and pencils
  • Battery-operated radio and television 
  • Flashlight 
  • First-aid kit

Advisors at Johnson Financial Group are here to help you understand your coverage and the best way to protect you and your assets. Contact an advisor today if you have any questions about your homeowners insurance coverage.

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Insurance products and services offered by Johnson Insurance Services, LLC, a Johnson Financial Group Company.  Not FDIC insured, not a deposit, not insured by any federal government agency, not bank guaranteed, may lose value. For your protection, coverage cannot be bound or changed via voicemail and is not effective until confirmed directly with a licensed agent.