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The summer season brings with it increased storm activity, including thunderstorms and hurricanes. When a storm is looming, the following are some of the steps you can take action to reduce the chance of a loss to your home or business:

  • Purchase flood insurance if needed and available
  • Have trees at risk of falling trimmed or cut down
  • Follow the weather forecast and sign up for local weather alerts if available
  • Tie down or put away loose objects
  • Have alternative means to charge your cell phones
  • If flooding is likely, relocate valuables and other key items to higher floors of your home or business
  • If sheltering in place, stay in an interior room, away from windows and doors
  • Stock up on non-perishable food items and bottled water
  • Locate flashlights and make sure you have a supply of batteries
  • Evacuate if necessary
  • When safe, evaluate any damages
  • Improvise repairs to prevent further damage, if safe to do so

If you have a business, ask your agent what types of storm damage are covered and which are not. For example, both the standard commercial property policy and the businessowners policy (BOP) in Pennsylvania do not cover power failure if caused off premises, such as power lines downed in a storm. Without a backup such as a generator, such a power outage could severely threaten your business.

This underscores the importance of having a storm preparedness plan specifically for your business:

  • Make sure all employees are aware of the plan
  • Run drills
  • Stock up on supplies:
    • Food and water
    • Flashlights
    • Radios
    • Generators for backup power
  • Install surge protectors
  • Inspect the building’s structure and exterior, especially windows, doors, and gutters
  • Have trees at risk of falling trimmed or cut down
  • Tie down or put away items that could cause damage in high winds
  • Install surge protectors
  • Evaluate your insurance policy with your agent to ensure you have the right coverages

While your standard policy does not cover power failure if caused off premises, this can be added as an additional coverage. I would be happy to review your existing coverages to help you be better prepared for summer storms and other weather events.


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