Preparing for Hurricane Season in the Coastal Bend

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Emily Gaines, PR Coordinator for BBB serving the Heart of Texas

Hurricane season began in June, but peaks in mid-August through mid-October. Although it’s been two years since Hurricane Harvey made landfall, devastating the Texas coast, towns and their citizens are still recovering. As the peak of the season approaches, Better Business Bureau serving the Heart of Texas has ways to prepare for coming storms, as well as recovering if your home floods during severe rainfall.

Preparing for the Storm:

  • Watch the news. Areas along the coast are more likely to experience damage and flooding during hurricane season; it’s less “if”, more “when”. Watch the news during hurricane season so you can keep up with what storms are making their ways to your area, as well as if evacuation plans are in place.
  • Take photos and video of your home. In the event of severe damage, you’ll want a point of reference. If you know a hurricane is coming through, take photos or video in anticipation of the storm, so you have “before” photos to show your insurance company.
  • Have copies of insurance policies. Keep copies on hand and keep electronic copies as well. Keep digital copies any other important documents stored on flash drives, away from the originals.
  • Anchor fuel tanks. Anchoring fuel and propane tanks will keep them from floating away in case of flooding.
  • Collect your valuables. Place valuable and irreplaceable items (like family photos and heirlooms) and place them up high in watertight containers.
  • Prepare an emergency kit. Include a change of clothes, footwear, flashlight and batteries, water, a battery powered radio and medications kept in a watertight container.
  • Discuss your plan. Make sure you have a set plan the whole family is aware of. Designate a safe place if you need to take shelter, and a meeting place in the event of evacuation.

Assessing the Damage:

  • Check your insurance policy. Be sure that flood damage is covered by your homeowners or renter’s insurance. Also be sure not to make permanent changes to your property without approval from your insurance provider.
  • Ask for proof of liability and licensing. Be sure the contractor has the correct licenses to do the work you hire them for. You can also go to tdlr.texas.gov to check their license.
  • Get everything in writing. Ask for a written contract and receipt that outlines all the work being done and materials used, as well as everything you are being charged for.
  • Beware of scams. Storm chasers use natural disasters to scam people out of money. Watch out for door-to-door solicitors, and never pay in full for all repairs in advance. You can also ask for a list of references or check out the business on bbb.org.

From everyone at your BBB, stay safe Coastal Bend!