As Floridians continue to monitor Tropical Storm Erikaâ€˜s unknown final path and intensity, one thing is for certain. Olympus Insurance is here for youâ€”offering our trademark stability, strength, support and superior service should you need us. If you detect damage, make Olympus Insurance your first call so we have an opportunity to follow through on our commitment to help you recover from your loss. Itâ€™s why weâ€™re here and why you chose to trust Olympus Insurance to protect your personal property. Our Claims Department can be reached at (866) 281-2242. In larger scale disasters, tune into your local network to see where Olympus Insurance may have an emergency disaster recovery site.
We know that monitoring a storm is stressful. Why? Because weâ€™re Floridians, too. We have family and property we want to protect just like you. Olympus Insurance recognizes that there are many helpful lists out there that address various aspects of disaster preparedness (particularly stocking up on supplies), and we encourage our policyholders to explore these accordingly. However, here are a few simple, easy reminders to protect your family, reduce potential damage and make it easier to file a claim if neededâ€”and help you feel more calm before the storm.
Before the Storm – Prepare
Finalize your complete home inventory. Have a list, photos or narrated video of the items along with their value, model numbers and where / when you purchased them. Store in a protected place and consider storing a back-up list as well.
Create a â€œtakeâ€ box. Make it sealable and waterproof and include important documentsâ€”originals and/or photocopies as necessary. You may also want to consider an external hard drive with backups of important files, your home computer contents, pictures and videos.
Secure loose outdoor items. They can take flight during a storm becoming potentially harmful projectile objects. This includes loose gutters and downspouts, yard debris and diseased, damaged tree limbs. Take note of garbage cans, planters, potted or hanging plants, outdoor dÃ©cor, patio furniture and grill. Secure them or move them inside the garage or other protected space.
Maximize fridge / freezer efficiency. Set your refrigerator and freezer to their coldest settings and leave the doors shut. Consider cooking all of your raw meats and freezing them to help keep other food cold for extended periods and to provide meals that donâ€™t require cooking after the storm. Put all of your ice cubes into plastic freezer bags and fill in all spaces in the freezer. You can freeze water bottles, too. Similarly, stock as much water in your refrigerator as possible to not only provide water in the event of contamination but also to retain the cold temperature.
Use your bathtub as a water reservoir. Fill it and other large containers with water for cleaning and flushing toilets. One full bathtub can provide enough water for about three days!
Have a plan and communicate it. Create your family emergency plan and make sure that all members of your household understand it. It may include how to contact one another, where you will go, contact information for relatives and close friends, meeting places, doctors, pharmacies, medical insurance details and family membersâ€™ names, dates of birth, Social Security numbers and important medical information. Evacuation plans need to consider the best evacuation routes (keep a paper road map!) and emergency supply kit to go.
During the Storm â€“ Stay Safe
Stay inside in a protected place. The key to riding out a storm is staying safe throughout. So stay indoors away from windows and glass doors. Depending upon the severity of the storm, you may want to create a safe room on your lowest level in a small, interior room, closet or hallway.
Switch from fire power to battery power. Extinguish candles as the rain and winds begin so that fire is not fanned by drafts. Use battery-powered flashlights instead (make sure you also have plenty of batteries).
After the Storm – Protect
Inspect your home. As early and as safely as possible, perform a thorough home inspection and detail any damage. Take lots of pictures. Take a look at your foundation, roof, walls, doors, floors, staircases and windows. Watch for loose plaster, drywall and ceilings as well as broken glass. Include a water damage inspection. Check for stains, discolorations or distortions like warping or cracking in surfaces inside and outside of your home. Inspect walls, ceilings, window frames, cabinets, fixtures, floors and doors. If you evacuated and are returning home after several days, do a sniff test for musty odors. When the weather clears and if feel you may have water damage, open windows and doors to begin to ventilate and dry out your home. Remember that Olympus Insurance is here for you and should be your first call.
Be acutely aware of insurance fraud. Natural disasters are when fraudsters shine. Watch for offers of free televisions in exchange for a new roof, promises of a free new roof, signing over your assignment of benefits (AOB), knock-on-the-door roofing inspections and waived deductible promises. Instead call Olympus Insurance first and allow our nearly decade of experience and expertise quickly get you back on your feet.
Our thoughts are with our family of policyholders as they prepare for Tropical Storm Erika. Just know that our preparations include being fully ready for you should the need arise.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not form a part of, replace, change or amend any terms, conditions, provisions or language within your Olympus Insurance policy. We encourage you to read your entire policy.