Annual preparation tips
Keep these tips in mind for yearly cleanup and preparation, so you’re ready for any storm that might come your way.
- Trim branches and clean gutters.
- Make repairs around the house, like fixing broken window panes or missing shingles.
- Make a family communication and evacuation plan.
- Prepare an inventory of your belongings with photos and videos.
- Compile a list of phone numbers for local police, fire and rescue services and family, friends and neighbors.
- Put together an emergency supply kit.
- Keep a roadside emergency kit in your car.
- Protect and store family valuables and important papers – like photographs, medical records and birth and marriage certificates – in waterproof containers.
Emergency supply kit
One way to prepare for a storm is to have an emergency supply kit ready. Here’s a list of things to include:
- First-aid supplies
- Bottled water – one gallon per person per day, for at least three days
- Nonperishable food
- Battery-operated flashlight, radio and extra batteries
- Prescription and other medications
- Cash – ATMs may not work during a power outage
- A charged cellphone
- Phone numbers for emergency services, family, friends and neighbors
- Blankets, clothing and toiletries
- Necessary items for infants, elderly or disabled family members
- Pet supplies – food, water and medications
It’s a good idea to check your supply kit from time to time, to make sure nothing has expired. And remember to restock your kit after a storm, so it’s ready for the future.
- If authorities tell you to evacuate, do so immediately.
- Turn off electricity, gas and water supplies, if you have time.
- Disconnect electrical appliances.
- Bring your emergency supply kit and important papers.
- Bring your pets or make arrangements for them if you're going to a shelter.
- Follow posted evacuation routes, since other roads may be blocked or closed.
- Text or use social media to let others know you're okay, or register on the American Red Cross’ Safe and Well website.
Choosing contractors for post-storm cleanup
- Get recommendations from family, friends or neighbors with similar claims.
- Verify that the contractor is licensed and insured. Ask for references, or check with the Better Business Bureau or attorney general’s office.
- You can choose who repairs your home or let us help you find qualified professionals to do the work. Amica has partnered with Contractor Connection to provide you with more than 2,000 professionally credentialed emergency service and restoration contractors.
- Be wary of bids that are unusually low or high.
- Ask if the contractor offers a workmanship warranty.
- Request a contract that specifies everything the contractor will do – prices for labor and material, clean-up procedures and estimated start and finish dates.
- Don’t pay in full until the job is complete and has been inspected.
- Follow local building codes – get permits and inspections before and after the work is complete.
- Use a check or credit card to pay, so there’s a record of the payment.
Pet protection information
- Stock plenty of food and water.
- Put together an emergency supply kit with a leash, crate or carrier, blanket, water dish, toys and medications.
- Keep copies of rabies certificates and vaccinations handy.
- Make arrangements for your pet to stay at a local kennel or animal shelter, especially if you have to evacuate. Most public shelters don’t accept pets for health reasons.
- Leash your pets and keep them in the room with you during a storm.