NOTE: Ida was upgraded to Hurricane status Friday afternoon after this was originally posted.
Now is the time to prepare as Tropical Storm Ida is expected to become a Hurricane and impact the Gulf Coast within the next 48 hours. Hurricanes are not just a threat to coastal communities. High winds, heavy rainfall, tornadoes, and flooding can be felt hundreds of miles inland, potentially causing loss of life and catastrophic damage to property.
You should check your insurance coverage and follow these tips:
· Tie down loose objects like lawn furniture and grills to prevent them from being blown away or floating away in flood water.
· Move to higher ground if you’re in a flood plain.
· Take photos before and after the storm hits.
· Make sure you have family evacuation and communications plans and update your emergency supply kit.
· An emergency supply kit or “go bag” should include:
o A gallon of water for every family member and pet
o A battery-powered radio
o Important documents like social security cards, birth certificates, and insurance policies
· Evacuations are more common than people realize. Make yourself familiar with your community’s evacuation zones, so you’ll know exactly where to go.
· Know where to go for trusted sources of information during a hurricane event. Sign up for alerts from your local emergency management office so notifications, including evacuation orders, go directly to your phone and email.
If you have damage following a storm:
· Have your insurance company’s name and policy number ready to speed up the claim process.
· Keep all receipts for expenses for any damages to your home.
· Be careful before you enter any damaged property and be careful of escaping natural gas, live electrical wires and collapses.
· Take pictures of any damages before you repair both inside and outside. If possible, make temporary repairs to your property to prevent further losses.
· Call the Mississippi Insurance Department with insurance-related questions at 601-359-2453.