Safety Tips to Keep in Mind Before, During and After a Storm - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Aug 19, 2021

Safety Tips to Keep in Mind Before, During and After a Storm

High winds, damaging hail and heavy rainfall are all things that can cause damage to your home and vehicle during a storm. Whether it is a hurricane, tropical storm or thunderstorm, we have a few safety tips to help you feel better prepared before, during and after a storm.

Before the Storm

If you know ahead of time that a major storm is on its way, there are a few things you can do to help ensure safety and prepare your family, home and vehicles.

1)     First things first: Know your plan. Unfortunately, that includes thinking ahead for worst-case-scenarios. Designate shelter areas in your home, what will you do if the power goes out or water starts to enter your home, or what your evacuation plan is for your family and pets.

2)     If you live in an area prone to damaging winds, consider protecting your windows with storm shutters or plywood. Doing so can save you from injury and having to replace broken windows after the storm passes.

3)     Double check your emergency supplies by making sure you have essentials. Things like batteries, flashlights, candles, matches, first aid supplies, cash, blankets and any necessary medications should be kept in a  spot that is easy to grab quickly. Keeping extra non-perishable food items and bottled water on hand is always a good idea. Don’t forget to grab extra food and supplies for your pets, as well.

4)     Consider what valuables you have and where they are located in your home. Important documents, cash, electronics or items of sentimental value should be stored in a safe location if possible. Now may also be a good time to complete your home inventory checklist.

5)     Don’t forget about your vehicle. Fill your car with gas and store it in a safe location, preferably in a garage. If that is not an option, be sure to avoid parking under trees or power lines.


During the Storm

Being prepared before the storm is helpful, but there are a number of things to do to keep you and your family safe during the storm as well:

1)     Seek shelter inside, away from windows and glass.

2)     Avoid using running water or landline phones during the storm, as lightning's electricity can travel through plumbing and phone lines.

3)     If you lose power keep your refrigerator closed to help keep food cold.

4)     If you use a portable generator, be sure to follow all manufacturer instructions while operating. Remember, generators should never be operated indoors, including in a garage or basement. It’s also a good idea to quickly test your carbon monoxide (CO) detector before using your generator to avoid injury or death caused by undetected CO that a generator can create in your home.

5)     Stay inside until it is confirmed that the storm has passed. It may seem like the storm has dissipated, however you may be experiencing the eye of the storm, meaning it will return. Be sure to tune in to your local weather station, either via battery-powered radio or your cellular device to stay informed of the latest updates and location of the storm.


After the Storm

Once the storm has passed and you are able to safely go outside, you should assess any damage left behind by the storm.

1)     Avoid going near fallen power lines and standing water.

2)     If any windows were broken during the storm, board them up and clean any glass to avoid injury. Remember to save any receipts for supplies purchased to make temporary repairs to your home as you may need to turn these into your insurance company if you plan to place a claim.

3)     Do a full inspection of your home, inside and out, and be sure to take photos of any damage left from the storm.

4)     Be aware of any debris that has entered your property during the storm. If there are large tree limbs, standing water or sharp objects you may need to vacate your property or seek assistance for safe clean up.

5)     Contact your insurance agent to place any claims due to storm damage.


Knowing your plan and keeping yourself and family safe is top priority through all stages of a storm. Follow these tips to be more prepared in the event a storm comes to your area.