With the hurricane season officially started in Florida, are you and your aging parents prepared?  In fact, some forecasters predict 2023 may be on track to experience above-average storm activity. With the potential for three to six major hurricanes in the upcoming months, it is important that you and your aging parents take proactive steps to ensure that both you, your aging parents and your homes are well-prepared to face these challenges head-on.

During the hurricane season, it is crucial to equip yourself and your aging parents with knowledge and practical strategies to safeguard your property and assets and those of your parents. We would like to present and discuss key hurricane safety tips that can set you on the right path to hurricane preparedness.

  1. Be sure to storm-proof your home and the home of your aging parents. Whether you and your aging parents decide to evacuate or stay home, the need to take preventative measures to minimize potential damage is of utmost importance. That being said, it is probably best that your aging parents stay with you and not alone in their own home. Begin by assessing any vulnerabilities of your home or the home of your aging parents. Repair and reinforce hurricane shutters to shield windows from flying debris and heavy winds. Inspect the roofs of both homes for loose shingles or tiles that could become projectiles during a storm. To prevent flooding, ensure that basements, doors, and windows are adequately sealed to keep water at bay.
  1. Be sure to secure outdoor items at both homes. Prior to a storm, it is always wise to secure or stow away any outdoor items that could be carried away by powerful gusts. Items such as patio furniture, umbrellas, potted plants, and other loose objects can become dangerous projectiles in a hurricane. These items can be safely stored in your garages or indoors to prevent them from causing damage to your property and the property of your parents or neighboring structures.
  1. Be sure to review both your insurance coverage and the coverage of your parents. Your insurance policies and that of your parents play a critical role in safeguarding both your and their financial stability during and after a hurricane. Take the time to thoroughly review your insurance coverage, as well as your parents, to ensure that it is up-to-date and adequate. Check if you both have comprehensive coverage for both flooding and the costs associated with rebuilding and repairing your property. Additionally, do not forget to assess your vehicle insurance and their vehicle insurance, as falling trees, debris, and rising water could put your car at risk.
  1. Be sure to document valuables. If significant damage occurs in either home, having an accurate record of your valuables is essential for insurance claims. Create a detailed inventory of items you and your aging parents wish to be covered under your insurance and their insurance. Include descriptions, photographs, and serial numbers if applicable. This documentation will facilitate the claims process and increase the likelihood of fair compensation for your losses or the losses of your parents.
  1. Be sure that all important documents are preserved.  Unfortunately, amid the chaos of a hurricane, crucial documents can easily be lost or damaged. Make sure to create hard copies of vital documents for you and your parents, including Florida estate planning documents, insurance policies, medical information, identification, property titles, vehicle registration, and proof of ownership for assets. Store these documents in a waterproof container, and consider keeping another set of copies on a secure digital platform, such as a hard drive, thumb drive, or cloud storage, for added security.

In addition, as hurricane season looms over us, taking these proactive steps can make a big difference in safeguarding your home, assets, and peace of mind and those of your aging parents. By storm-proofing your home and the home of your parents, securing outdoor items, reviewing insurance coverage, documenting valuables, and preserving important documents, you are setting yourself and your parents up for a more secure and resilient future in the face of potential adversity.

Navigating the complexities of hurricane preparedness and insurance coverage might raise questions. If you find yourself seeking clarity or guidance, do not hesitate to make an appointment with our office. Our knowledgeable experts can provide the insights and information you need to ensure that you are adequately protected during this unpredictable storm season.

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. At Perlin Estate Planning & Probate, our credentials enable us to provide a multi-disciplinary approach to our legal services.  By building relationships with our clients, we are also able to understand each client’s needs and desires, and we support such goals through thoughtful, comprehensive planning techniques. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting.