How To Storm Proof Your Family This Typhoon Season
The worst thing that people who live along coastlines can do is not to prepare for tropical storms and hurricanes. The Philippines, with over 7,000 islands, and over 36,000 kilometers of coastline, 74% of the population, and 80% of the land area are vulnerable to disaster, with the capital of Manila considered at “extreme risk”.
Not to mention the fact that it is located in the middle of the world’s most volatile region for typhoons, the nation has a lot of experience coping with severe winds, flooding and storm surges. An average of 20 tropical storms enters the country every year, and it surpasses all other disasters in terms of the number of fatalities, affected citizens, and economic damage at 58% along with related flooding at 25% and landslides at six percent.
Now that the rainy season is upon us again, it is important to prepare for the worst to protect our homes and finances from potential disasters. It would be fortunate if the next typhoon season will just bring moderate winds and a bit of rain, but more often than not, typhoons can be destructive and dangerous. To avoid being caught unprepared, here are some tips on how to get ready and be financially prepared for the worst this typhoon season.
Get your emergency kit and supplies ready
Apart from stocking up on food and water, which should be good for at least five days per person as recommended by the Red Cross; one should also have an emergency kit consisting of a first aid kit and medicine supply for at least seven days, battery powered radio with extra batteries, flashlight and batteries, whistle to signal for help, local maps, and cash in small bills if the ATMs are bogged down.
Worst comes to worst, you should also put together a file that you can grab quickly if evacuated, this should include important financial and personal records, emergency contacts, updated home inventory, and extra keys.
Storm-proof your home
Get your home ready by catching up on those repairs that you’ve put off during the summer in time for the rains. This includes removing leaves and other debris from your gutters, which can clog them and send water pouring down the side of your house or under the roof. And check for cracks that could let water into your house. Inspect your roof and make sure that there are no damages and that the vents are all sealed so wind-driven rain won’t enter your home. If there are any trees near your house, it is about time to trim them. Flying branches and falling trees are some of the most common and expensive causes of damage during the typhoon season.
Study your vicinity evacuation routes
If you live in a flood prone area have an evacuation plan. Learn your area’s evacuation routes and shelter locations ahead of time. The time to figure these things out isn’t while a storm is bearing down on your home, or after an evacuation warning has been issued. Decide ahead of time where you would go in case of an evacuation, whether it’s a friend’s or relative’s house or a government/Red Cross shelter.
Insure your family
About 700 people are hospitalized annually due to typhoon-related injuries. During these trying times, health insurance eases one’s financial burden by helping cover some, if not all of the hospital bills. If the policyholder unfortunately dies during the storm, life insurance would pay out his surviving family members to make sure that the family is stable financially even with the loss of a loved one.
For those who can afford to pay a higher premium, there are plans that offer whole life insurance protection up to the age of 96 which is payable in just three, five, seven or 10 years. Aside from giving family protection in case of death, these plans also provide living benefits to the insured in the form of cash values which provides a source of funds in cases of emergency.
Another option is to take advantage of affordable microinsurance. These types of insurance will only cost you as little as ₱75 a month per person, and will at least provide you protection for more specific circumstances such as accidents.
Insure your home and property
Because a house is one of the biggest and most expensive assets you will ever purchase, it is important to protect it against untoward incidents.
Most property owners do not even realize that flooding is not a part of standard home insurance. So protect your home and the assets inside it. Choose the “Property All-Risk” option to ensure that your property has sufficient coverage against loss or damage caused by fire and lightning, and allied perils such as earthquake, typhoon, flood, falling aircraft, impact damage, volcanic eruption, riot, strike and malicious damage. It will be a little more expensive than your standard coverage but it will give you the resources that you will require in times of need.
Additional covers may also be added to meet the needs of your place of business as well. There is an option to include Machinery Breakdown cover, Electronic Equipment Insurance cover, and Business Interruption in this type of policy. You will also enjoy more additional benefits in the form of allowances, assistance services, personal accident and personal liability coverages depending on your insurance provider.
Get a comprehensive car insurance
A comprehensive car insurance with Acts of Nature Coverage will protect you from financial loss when unfortunate incidents happen even when it’s not typhoon season. While this is not mandatory, it provides some measure of financial security by covering car repairs and other damages should any unfortunate incidents occur.
Essentially, a reputable comprehensive car insurance has a wide coverage and insures you against damage, car theft, liabilities caused by collisions, fire, malicious acts, acts of God (and nature) and personal accident insurance of the passenger. It’s smart to get this type of insurance because risk is an everyday reality. Accidents can happen anytime, and if you’re driving to work every day, you’re exposed to risks that you do not have direct control of particularly during rainstorms.
However, when getting your car insurance, make sure that you read the fine print and understand what’s included and what isn’t. Many “comprehensive” insurance policies don’t insure against all types of damages, like typhoons. Coverage for these instances will require additional clauses: Acts of God or Acts of Nature, which covers damage from flooding and other non-manmade incidents. Pricing will vary from insurer to insurer so do your homework and pick the best option for you.
Preparation is key to mitigate the impact of natural disasters. The small steps you can take now will save not only your home and family from devastating loss, but will also cushion your recovery in times of crisis. Making your stockpile of emergency supplies, knowing your emergency escape route, and acquiring an insurance policy can take less than a week, but it will surely save you from a lifetime of regrets.