After many quiet years of minor tropical storms, 2017 is shaping up to be one of the most destructive years in recent memory.
Without much delay after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma is already a Category 5 storm with a path projected to impact Florida and potentially the Gulf or East Coasts. Unfortunately, the bad news only gets worse as September has historically been the most active month for hurricanes and Tropical Storm Jose has already developed in the Eastern Atlantic.
Business owners in coastal regions usually do a good job of preparing for storms, but how about knowing what to do after a hurricane? With so much attention focused on making it through unscathed, it's important to remember that the power of these storms can present unavoidable damages.
When focusing on the recovery process, here's a quick list of things to keep in mind:
- First and foremost, don't forget the obvious: use common sense and protect yourself, your family, and your staff. Follow recommendations from local authorities and return to your community only when it is safe to do so.
- Contact your insurance agent as soon as you are safely able to return to your business. If you are a Jewelers Mutual policyholder, you can also reach our Claims Team directly by emailing [email protected].
- Take photos of the damage before cleaning up or throwing anything away. This will help the adjuster who is assigned to assist you if a claim is filed.
- Whether they are temporary or permanent fixes, complete any repairs that minimize hazards and ensure that your building can be safely accessed.
- Remove all debris as soon as the adjuster has contacted you and order a dumpster if needed.
- Separate damaged and undamaged property. This will help you more easily identify the value of damaged property to be filed in a claim and also start the process of protecting your undamaged property.
- Board up or close any openings still present to reduce the chance of additional weather-related damage or criminal trespassing.
- If extra clean-up or repairs are needed, only hire a contractor you know and trust.
To get more tips in addition to what to do after a hurricane, download our Hurricane Preparedness Guide.
You'll get even deeper insights on the recovery process, as well as helpful tips for what to do before and during storms.