Protecting and Preparing Your Home for Hurricane Dorian 

We love living on the coast, but unfortunately that makes us vulnerable to hurricanes. It is very important for us to take time before an emergency happens to protect our homes. This blog is an overview of ReadyNC’s hurricane preparation recommendations.

Planning ahead can help protect your property and peace of mind.


Long before an emergency strikes, be sure to list out your property. A full list of personal items will help get insurance settlements and/or tax deductions for losses. Insurance agents can give you inventory checklists. Be sure to take pictures and describe the items on your list. Put these and other key insurance papers in waterproof containers or in your safety deposit boxes.

Look over your insurance policies and coverage to not make mistakes later. Separate policies are needed for protection against wind and flood damage.

Find out if your home is subject to flooding. Your local building inspection department has copies of the Flood Insurance Rate Maps that show property subject to a 100-year storm frequency.

Stay Informed –  Download an emergency weather app on your phone: purchase a weather radio.

Plan to Evacuate – Know your community’s evacuation plan, evacuation routes and how to receive alerts.

Emergency Kit – Build an emergency kit and keep it ready to go.

Protect your Documents – Keep computers and important documents in a waterproof container. Remember to create password-protected digital copies.

Protect your Stuff – Move valuables to higher levels.

Windows – Protect windows with permanent storm shutters or invest in 1/2-inch marine plywood that is precut to fit your doors and windows.  

Storage – Identify a place to store lawn furniture, toys, gardening tools and trash cans (away from stairs and exits) to prevent them from being moved by high winds and possibly hurting someone.  

Gutters – Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts to prevent flooding and unnecessary pressure on the awnings.  

Vehicles –Move vehicles into garages if you can, or park them near your home and away from trees.

Sandbags –Use sandbags or other protection in place, based on predicted flood depths. Keep sandbags away from the outside walls of your house to prevent floodwaters from reaching your house.

Utilities –turn off services at the main power switch and close the main gas valve. In case of flooding, do not touch any electrical equipment. Only touch it is in a dry area or you are standing on a dry piece of wood while wearing rubber-soled shoes or boots and rubber gloves.

If disaster does strike your home or vehicle:

  1. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to file a claim and arrange a visit from an adjuster. You must do this first before you file any other claim.
  2. Before doing any repairs to your house, take pictures and make a list of the damage.
  3. Protect your home from more damage by making short-term repairs only. You need to wait until your insurance company can tell you what else you need to do. Save any receipts for items bought for repairs.
  4. Do not have permanent repairs made until your insurance company has inspected the property. Wait until you and the insurance company have reached an agreement on the cost of repairs.
  5. Rent short-term shelter if needed. If you cannot live in your home, most homeowner’s policies pay extra living expenses while your property is being fixed. Before renting short-term shelter, check with your insurance company or agent to decide what expenses the company will pay you back.
  6. Unless you have extra coverage with your homeowner’s policy, food lost in a power outage is probably not covered. Think about buying an endorsement to cover food losses in the future.
  7. Most damage to your home or nearby buildings resulting from fallen trees is covered by your homeowner’s policy. Check with your agent or company before calling the tree removal service. Tree removal costs may be covered.
  8. Damage to your vehicles resulting from fallen trees or debris may be covered by your auto policy if you have comprehensive coverage. Check with your agent to determine whether your vehicle is covered.
  9. A homeowner’s policy does not cover flooding! The only way to protect your property from flood losses is to get flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program. Policies must be in place for 30 days before coverage takes effect. Contact your agent for more information.
  10. If your insurance does not properly cover the loss of or damages to your home, you may file a claim with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This can only happen AFTER you’ve filed your homeowner’s insurance claim.
  11. After filing with FEMA, and your loss is still greater, you may file with the Small Business Administration for a loan.


None of these actions will ever return your home to its original state. These steps will help you get back on your feet.

For more North Carolina Insurance Information, call 800-546-5664 or 919-807-6750.

To learn more about the National Flood Insurance Program, call 888-379-9531.

Information from the N.C. Department of Insurance







**this blog was written based on the recommendations of ReadyNC and Wilmington Biz

**The Coastal Cypress Building Company is not liable for any damage/loss/etc. due to these recommendations