Preparing for the Storm – A Lawyers Perspective

In South Florida, we are accustomed to preparing for the threat of hurricanes.  This preparation should include securing your residence, removing debris from the yard, checking out government resources, monitoring the storm’s progress, gathering supplies, filling up the car with gas, testing those generators, packing an emergency kit, making arrangements for pets, getting cash from the ATM, making sure you have your prescription medications, and making an evacuation plan. This preparation is essential in dealing with a potential hurricane making land fall; however, the preparation should not end there.  

Those unlucky individuals who are impacted by the storm, will face the challenges of making a claim and getting their claims paid smoothly. Before the storm, is the time to make those preparations. 


The number one thing you can do to help get your claim payed quickly is to take video of the outside of your house and the inside of your house.  Simply use your cell phone and walk around the outside of your home.  This will show that you took the necessary precautions to secure your home.  Then use your cell phone and walk through your house.  Make sure to open up drawers and closets.  Document all of your personal effects and valuables.  Gather your receipts and records for any upgrades and major purchases.


       In order expedite a claim, it will be important to have a copy of your insurance policy (home and auto) as well as the contact information for your local insurance agent and the insurance company.  This information is important so you know what is covered and how to contact the insurer to make a claim.

       In addition to the insurance information, identification records, legal documents, and financial paperwork should be gathered and secured. Identification records include driver’s licenses, birth certificates, passports and Social Security cards. Legal documents include marriage records, death certificates, immigration records, wills, living wills, and powers of attorney.  Financial statements include loan documents, insurance contracts, titles of property, deeds, and financial statements for you bank, retirement and investment accounts. 

     Now that you have prepared your home, repeat the process to prepare your business.