Missouri is no stranger to severe weather, with thunderstorms, tornadoes, hailstorms, and winter storms frequently occurring in the state. As a resident of Missouri, it’s important to be prepared for these types of weather events and take measures to protect your home from damage. In this post, we share our years of Insurance Claim Specialists experiences and tips and what to do if you experience storm damage.
How to Protect Your Home from Storms in Missouri
First things first, it’s important to have a plan in place for what to do in case of severe weather. This can include designating a safe room or storm shelter, securing loose objects outside, and staying informed about weather alerts and warnings. It is important to have an emergency plan in place long before storms threaten your safety.
Important note: You and your family need an emergency plan in place long before any inclement weather. An emergency plan should include the following key elements.
Inclement Weather Emergency Plan Guidelines
- Designate a safe room or storm shelter: Identify a safe room or storm shelter in your home where you can take refuge during a storm. This should be a room on the lowest level of your home, with no windows or exterior walls.
- Have emergency supplies: Have a stockpile of emergency supplies, including non-perishable food, water, medications, flashlights, batteries, and a first-aid kit. Keep these supplies in a readily accessible location.
- Have access to weather alerts and warnings: Stay informed about weather alerts and warnings by listening to a weather radio, downloading a weather app, or signing up for text message alerts from your local emergency management agency.
- Know what home safety measures you can take prior to bad weather: Take measures to secure your home and property before a storm, such as securing loose objects outside, installing impact-resistant windows and doors, and reinforcing your roof and garage doors.
- Know your evacuation plan: If you live in an area that is prone to flooding or other severe weather events, have an evacuation plan in place. This should include identifying evacuation routes and safe destinations, as well as planning for your pets.
- Make sure all members of your family know the plan: Have a plan in place for communicating with family members during and after a storm. This can include setting up a group text message or phone call chain.
- Secure important documents: Keep important documents, such as insurance policies, identification documents, and medical records, in a waterproof and fireproof container. Take this container with you if you evacuate.
By including these elements in your Missouri storm plan, you can be better prepared for severe weather events and help ensure the safety of yourself and your family. Planning ahead helps you stay calm and collected so you can keep you and your family safe.
Safeguarding Your Home
Next, consider investing in storm-resistant features for your home. While these upgrades may come with a higher price tag, they can help protect your home from damage during a storm and save you money in the long run. Here is a short list of home preparations that increase your home’s value and keep your family safer:
Storm Preparations For Your Home
- Reinforce your roof: Have your roof inspected regularly and make any necessary repairs to ensure that it can withstand high winds and heavy rain. Consider installing hurricane straps or other reinforcements to help keep your roof in place during a storm.
- Install impact-resistant windows and doors: Impact-resistant windows and doors can withstand high winds and flying debris during a storm. They can help protect your home from damage and make it safer for you and your family.
- Secure loose objects outside: Remove any loose objects from your yard or outdoor spaces that could become projectiles during a storm. This can include patio furniture, toys, and gardening equipment.
- Install a generator: Consider installing a backup generator to provide power in case of a power outage during a storm. This can help keep your home running and prevent damage from frozen pipes or other issues.
- Maintain trees and landscaping: Keep trees and landscaping well-maintained, removing dead or diseased branches and ensuring that trees are not too close to your home. This can help prevent damage from falling branches or uprooted trees during a storm.
Escaping Landscaping Nightmares
Another important step in protecting your home from storms is to maintain your trees and landscaping. Make sure that trees are not too close to your home and keep them well-maintained, removing dead or diseased branches. This can help prevent damage from falling branches or uprooted trees during a storm.
Can you tell if the trees and shrubs you planted around your home make it more vulnerable to major storm damage? Here are a few ways to reduce the risk to your yard and home during inclement weather.
How to Reduce the Risk of Storm Damage to Your Yard
- Prune trees and shrubs: Prune trees and shrubs regularly to remove dead, diseased, or weak branches. This will help make the tree more wind-resistant and reduce the likelihood of branches breaking off during a storm.
- Tie up young trees: If you have young trees in your yard, tie them to stakes or other supports to help keep them upright during high winds.
- Remove hazardous trees: If you have trees that are in poor health or have significant structural damage, it’s best to remove them before a storm. These trees are more likely to fall or lose branches during high winds and can cause significant damage to your property.
- Install lightning protection: If you have tall trees in your yard, consider installing lightning protection. This can help reduce the risk of lightning strikes, which can cause significant damage to trees and property.
- Mulch around trees: Mulch around trees can help protect the roots and prevent erosion during heavy rain. It can also help keep the soil moist during drought conditions, which can help trees withstand high winds.
By taking these steps to protect your landscaping and trees in stormy weather, you can help prevent damage to your property and maintain the health of your trees and plants.
Know Your Coverage
Finally, check your insurance coverage to ensure that they adequately cover you for storm damage. This can include coverage for wind, hail, and water damage, as well as flood insurance if you live in a flood-prone area. Understanding your insurance policy can help you be prepared for the worst-case scenario and make the claims process easier if you experience storm damage.
In Missouri, homeowners insurance policies typically cover a range of storm-related damages. Check out this list and see if you are covered.
Types of Storm Damage in Missouri
- Wind damage: Homeowners insurance policies typically cover damage caused by wind, such as fallen trees or branches, damaged roofs, and broken windows.
- Hail damage: Hail storms can cause significant damage to roofs, siding, and other exterior surfaces. Homeowners insurance policies often cover hail damage.
- Water damage: Water damage caused by storms, such as flooding or roof leaks, is typically covered by homeowners insurance. However, damage caused by floods may require separate flood insurance coverage.
- Lightning strikes: Homeowners insurance policies typically cover damage caused by lightning strikes, including damage to electrical systems, appliances, and other property.
- Tornado damage: Tornadoes are common in Missouri and can cause significant damage to homes and property. Homeowners insurance policies typically cover damage caused by tornadoes, including damage to roofs, siding, and other exterior surfaces.
- Ice and snow damage: During the winter months, ice and snow storms can cause damage to roofs, gutters, and other parts of a home. Homeowners insurance policies may cover damage caused by ice dams, which occur when ice builds up on a roof and prevents proper drainage.
- Freezing damage: In cold weather, freezing temperatures can cause pipes to freeze and burst, leading to water damage in a home. Homeowners insurance policies typically cover damage caused by frozen pipes.
- Debris removal: If a storm damages your house, your homeowners insurance policy may cover the cost of debris removal. This can include the removal of fallen trees, damaged roofs, and other debris from your property.
- Additional living expenses: If your home becomes uninhabitable, your homeowners insurance policy may cover the cost of temporary living expenses, such as hotel stays or rental properties.
It’s important to review your homeowners insurance policy to understand what types of storm damage your insurance covers. Remember, they are there for you. You have every right and responsibility to fully understand your coverage. Ask as many questions as you need to be informed and protected.
What to Do If You Experience Storm Damage
Take action as soon as possible if you experience storm damage to your home. First, assess the damage by taking photographs and making a list of the damage as evidence for your insurance claim. If you need immediate emergency repairs to prevent further damage, make those repairs, but keep all documentation related to the damage and the repairs.
Next, contact your insurance company or agent as soon as possible to report the damage. Provide them with the details of the damage and the date it occurred. Your insurer might assign an adjuster to inspect the damage to your home and assess the cost of repairs. If they leave the choice to you, here are a few tips to help you make that choice.
How to Choose a Insurance Claim Specialists
- It’s important to choose someone who is both experienced and qualified to assess the specific type of damage your home sustained.
- Start by checking with your insurance company – a good deal of insurance companies have a list of preferred or approved assessors they work with.
- Be sure to ask for references from past clients who have had similar types of damage and contact them to ask about their experience working with the assessor and the quality of their work.
- Remember that you can choose your own damage assessor, so take the time to select someone who you feel is qualified and trustworthy.
Our Exquisite Renovations team includes experienced insurance claims specialists. As your neighbor, we want to give you an honest storm damage assessment. Let’s connect and discuss your options.
What to do after your assessment
After the assessment, get an estimate for the cost of repairs from contractors or other professionals. Provide these estimates to your insurance company, along with any receipts for emergency repairs you have already made. Your insurance company will offer you a settlement amount based on the assessment of the damage and the cost of repairs. If you agree to the offer, the insurance company will pay you the settlement amount, minus any deductibles.
Once you receive your settlement, you can make the repairs to your home. Keep all receipts and invoices for the repairs and submit them to your insurance company for reimbursement. While filing a claim and making repairs may seem daunting, staying organized and communicating with your insurance company throughout the process can help make it easier.
We know that is a lot of information to take in. Bookmark this post for future reference. You can also download this free Missouri Storm Damage Preparation Kit.
At Exquisite Renovations, we understand how stressful it can be to experience storm damage to your home. That’s why we’re here to help with our storm repair services. Our experienced professionals can provide you with a free estimate for repairs and help guide you through the claims process. Don’t wait to take action – connect with us today.