Personal Resource Center

How to Prepare Your Home for a Natural Disaster

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Did you know most insurance policies don't cover floods? You typically need to buy a separate flood insurance policy.


How to prepare for weather events

Residents of the Southeast should prepare for flooding, hurricanes, and freezing temperatures.

Homes in the Southeast often have water pipes in vulnerable locations. If the temperature drops to 20 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, you should protect your water pipes from freezing7 — and potentially bursting — by letting cold water drip through the inside faucet.

Hurricane season8 in the Southeast is from June 1 through November 30. During high winds, you'll probably need to act in a hurry. By having a plan in place before disaster strikes, you can better protect your home. (See below list.)


How to protect your home before a hurricane

If you need to evacuate during a hurricane or flood, you can take the following steps ahead of time to keep your home protected.

  • Store all loose items you keep outside, like a grill, potted plants, or bicycles, inside. (You don't want saltwater to ruin your items in the event of a storm surge. And during heavy winds, some items can become projectiles, potentially damaging your home or other people's homes.)
  • Make sure nothing is blocking the storm drains so that water doesn't flood your home.
  • Put sandbags around doors, windows, and garage doors.
  • Close all interior doors.
  • Put plywood over windows.
  • Unplug appliances and move portable appliances off the ground or on a second floor since water can ruin them.
  • Turn off the power by setting the circuit breaker's main switch to "off."
  • Turn off the main water valve, located on the water meter.

With proper planning, you can rest easy knowing you've taken the right precautions to protect your family and your home in the event of severe weather.

Important disclosure information

This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.

  1. www.floodsmart.gov, accessed March 19, 2021. Back
  2. Julia Kagan, "Flood Insurance, "Investopedia, updated January 21, 2021, accessed March 19,2021. Back
  3. Penny Gusner, "Who needs flood insurance?" insure.com, updated August 7, 2020, accessed March 22, 2021. Back
  4. Fema.gov, "FEMA Flood Map Service Center: Search By Address ," accessed March 19, 2021. Back
  5. Pat Howard, "What is guaranteed replacement cost?" Policygenius, published June 23, 2020, accessed March 22, 2021. Back
  6. Ready.gov, "Build A Kit," accessed March 19, 2021. Back
  7. American Red Cross, "Frozen Pipes," accessed March 4, 2021. Back
  8. Ready.gov, "Hurricanes," updated March 16, 2021, accessed March 22, 2021. Back