Are You Prepared for El Nino?

Home Tool Kit

Does the thought of the winter season make you smile? Are you looking forward to the cool weather, warm clothing and getting together with your family for the holidays?

Unfortunately, Mother Nature has some plans of her own this winter that include El Nino. From coast to coast, El Nino storms are forecasted to bring record amounts of rain and snow to many parts of the country.

Despite the risk of extreme weather, of course you still want to be able to enjoy your holidays. That’s why it’s important to be prepared. Although you may not be able to predict or control severe weather, you can plan for it.

What can you do to help protect yourself, your family and your home from weather damage? Here are some tips that may help you avoid the hazards of the season:

1. Get Flood insurance.

Start by looking into getting Flood insurance, if you don't already have it. Your standard home insurance may not cover flood damage or replace stuff destroyed in a flood.

2. Look into optional Wind and Hail coverage.

If you’re a Farmers customer, talk to your agent about special optional coverage such as Wind or Hail that can give you additional protection for trees, shrubs, plants and lawns against high winds and hail.

3. Clean your drains, gutters and downspouts.

Check existing drains and make sure they’re clean and will work when you need them. A backed up drain that floods your home may not be covered by your insurance policy.

Clean your gutters and downspouts; ensure that they're working and will divert water away from your home. If you're not able to do so yourself, work with a trusted roofer or contractor to get them cleaned out. 

4. Inspect your roof.

Evaluate your roof; if you hire a roofer to clean your gutters, you may also be able to have them inspect your roof for trouble areas. Many insurance policies may not cover you for water damage due to a worn out roof. Get this checked out beforehand to eliminate any unwelcome surprises!

5. Trim your trees and bushes.

Prune trees and bushes around your house; if there are long branches hanging near your roof, or your gutters, trim them before heavy storms come. Broken branches from storms can cause all kinds of damage to your home. A few hours with the pruner now could save you thousands of dollars later.

6. Store valuables off the ground.

If water does get in, your best bet is to minimize the damage and protect your valuables. Keep expensive and irreplaceable items like old family photos, art work, electronics and your stamp collection off the ground. Place them on the top floor of your house or on shelves and tables.

7. Gather basic essentials.

Remember to stock up on the essentials; you know what happens when the news calls for bad weather; stores flood with people, all buying milk, bread, batteries, flashlights and duct tape by the truck load. How do you avoid this mess? Stock up on basic supplies before winter and stay cozy in your home.

Talk to a Farmers agent about the coverage you want, and any concerns you have going into this winter season.


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