Protecting your Florida Home – Room-by-Room

Florida Home Insurance Tips:

In true Floridian fashion, should a threatening storm be steering your way, you take notice—and precautions! We have all witnessed the devastation and catastrophic destruction from various storms of recent, with many of us experiencing consequences of the same first-hand through the likes of Hurricanes Andrew, Charley, Frances, Jeanne and Wilma, to name a few. Powerful storms have the potential to wreak havoc on your property within minutes. Exterior precautions such as shuttering your home and removing and/or securing any and all outdoor items that are not tied down (i.e. patio furniture) are usually the first line of preparation, followed by stocking up on non-perishable groceries, water, batteries and gasoline. But what about your home’s interior? There are critical steps to take aside from filling the tub with water and getting the flashlights and candles out.

One popular method to securing and protecting the interior of your home and its contents is to perform a “Room-by-Room” inspection. The importance of the same is actually three-fold: (i) providing a simple, comprehensive assessment in simplistic, orderly fashion of the most vulnerable—and valuable—items in each room; (ii) taking any and all precautionary measures to secure and/or protect said items as best you can; and (iii) resulting in comprehensive list—with photos– of the interior of your home and its contents in the unfortunate event tragedy strikes and an insurance claim is necessary.

Start with pen, notebook and cell phone/camera in hand.  Room-by-room, perform a walk-through of your home. First and foremost, examine the floor of each room and identify all items on or near the floor. Should the potential for flooding pose a risk, elevate any and all valuable items if possible. Sandbags may offer extra protection if placed at vulnerable areas such as sliding glass doors. Next, review and list each room’s valuables. From costly items such as silver to sentimental items such as pictures and photo albums, the magnitude of the impending storm should determine whether to secure and/or remove these items from the home.

Next, with keen eye, identify all glass and/or breakable items in each room. Carefully note their placement and take precautions to rearrange things should nearby items pose a breakage theat. Cover large items (i.e. televisions) with blankets for coverage protection. Be sure to unplug certain items such as desktop computers and the like should an electrical surge occur.

The bottom line?  Protect yourself, your family members and your pets, above all. Should evacuation orders ensue, heed all warnings and follow instructions. Take your inventory list, photos and designated valuables with you. By doing so, you can rest assured you’ve done the best you can in the eye of the storm. 

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