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Former Senior Counsel To The Maryland Insurance Administration Gives Critical Preparation Tips As Hurricane Sandy Approaches

* Make only temporary repairs. The company may deny your claim if you make permanent repairs before it inspects. So, if you're not sure whether your company considers a repair to be permanent, ask your company (in writing) before starting any repair work. The cost of these repairs and for storing personal belongings is likely covered by your policy.

* Be present for the inspection. It's a good idea to be home when the adjuster performs his or her inspection. Feel free to ask your contractor to be there with you to discuss estimates with the adjuster or the company.

* Keep all receipts. You must provide evidence that you bought replacement items and incurred expenses due to losing the use of all or part of your property. Receipts will help you get reimbursed more quickly for out of pocket expenses.

Other important steps to keep safe during the storm:

Develop a family disaster plan before the storm hits

The most important thing you and your family can do is to be prepared. A good plan will help ensure that your family knows what to do if the worst should happen. Some simple steps include:

  • Discuss the types of hazards that could affect your family. Know your home's vulnerability to flooding and wind.
  • Locate the safest areas of your home - or - the safest place in your community in case of a hurricane.
  • Determine escape routes from your home and places to meet.
  • Have an out-of-state friend or family contact, so all your family members have a single point of contact.
  • Post emergency numbers by your phones.
  • Have a plan for what to do with your pets if you need to evacuate. This includes having a pet carrier for each animal, if applicable. Make sure your pet has a collar with identification and that you have a recent photo in case it gets lost.

Create a disaster supply kit todayThe following list contains items you can pack early and have ready in case of an emergency:

  • Water
  • First Aid kit and medicines
  • Non-perishable food items, snacks and disposable utensils
  • Blankets and pillows
  • Flashlight and batteries
  • A battery-operated, weather band radio
  • A small tool set
    • Also, keep a full tank of gas in your car in case you need to evacuate immediately.

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