Monthly Archives: April 2015

Don’t shoot the messenger: Hurricane season is upon us

Although it seems like spring JUST arrived (well, in some places it did), the last thing we want to do is rush it by looking ahead to summer. But, if Mother Nature continues her streak of extreme weather this year, it’s wise to start considering the potential for hurricanes. And as 2015 marks the tenth anniversary of Katrina, one of the country’s costliest and deadliest hurricanes, it’s a sobering reminder that we all should be prepared for unexpected severe weather.Hurricane warning

  • Communication is key, so have a Family Emergency Plan. This is a good strategy not just for hurricanes, but extreme weather in general. Make sure family members know how to reconnect after a storm. Children should be trained on how to call 911 for help and should memorize the number of a trusted out-of-state family member or friend to contact if necessary. Be sure each family member knows the phone number of that contact as well.
  • Along with communication preparation, physical preparation is imperative.  To ensure you’re well-prepared for a severe storm, consider making an emergency supply kit equipped with at least the following:
    • Three days’ supply of basic food, water and clothing
    • Flashlights, weather radio, and fresh batteries
    • Any necessary prescription medications
    • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account information in waterproof, portable bags
    • Extra cash
    • First aid kit

Visit FEMA’s website for additional comments

Be prepared for an evacuation 

  • Identify meeting places both within and outside your city or town
  • Listen and watch for instructions from the authorities on safe escape routes to established shelters (Pro tip: The American Red Cross provides a list of shelters nationwide that’s updated every thirty minutes)
  • If you have a car, fill up the gas tank before a storm in case of an immediate evacuation
  • Identify multiple ‘escape’ routes out of your area in the event there are road hazards, such as flooded streets, washed out bridges or downed power lines
  • If time permits, secure your home by unplugging all appliances and locking your windows and doors

As is the case with all extreme weather conditions, the best way to be prepared is to have a plan. Let’s hope for a mild summer, but also be aware of the realities of weather and ready ourselves for the unexpected.

Headquartered in Boston, Bunker Hill Insurance provides home insurance to customers in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Bunker Hill is a member of The Plymouth Rock Group of Companies, which together write and manage over $1 billion in homeowners and auto insurance throughout the northeast.

 

You’re moved into your new home… now what?

Spring and summer are popular times for home buying and selling; lawns are at their best (after all, it is about presentation!) and the warm weather makes the daunting task of moving more bearable. But as exciting as moving is, it’s a huge endeavor with lots of moving parts (see what I did there?) and it’s easy to forget some simple, yet necessary, steps to take after you’re in the new house. So, if you’re among those making an exciting move this season, here are tips on what to take care of afterwards to ensure you’re happy, settled and safe in your new home:Giving house keys

  • Change the locks. Unless the house is brand new, there’s no way of knowing who has made copies of the keys over the years. Once the papers are signed and the keys are in your hand, switch out the locks so that you can account for anyone who can access your home.
  • Forward your mail. Head to the post office and setup mail forwarding so that you don’t miss any important bills or other communications. If you’d rather, you can do it online through the US Postal Service website. Although this can be done before the actual move, this step can easily be forgotten among the laundry list of other things that need to be taken care of. Since there’s always the chance that some mail doesn’t make it to your new address, it’s a good idea to leave your new address with the people at your previous residence for stragglers or check in periodically if possible.
  • Update your license and registration. It’s important for these documents to have your most current address. Also, if you’ve moved to an area that requires a residence permit to park on the street, you’ll need to provide proof that your car is actually registered in that town.
  • Notify important constituents. Let any organization that needs your address know that you’ve relocated. For example, usually a credit card is tied to your address. So, before your card is declined, let your carrier know that you’ve moved.
  • Get reconnected. If you need to, now’s the time to setup your cable, internet and phone services.
  • Don’t forget about your health. If you’ve relocated to an entirely new area, you’ll want to find a new doctor and dentist. Have your old healthcare providers forward your medical records. If you can keep the same doctor and dentist, just be sure to notify them of your address change.
  • Start fresh. Give the inside of your new home a good cleaning,  especially if it isn’t a new construction. Sometimes previous owners can leave a messy trail once they’ve moved out. Now that you’re in the home, you’ll want a clean – both literally and figuratively – slate to make it your own.
  • Window treatments. Once officially in your new home, be sure to install window treatments for privacy’s stake if there aren’t any already.
  • Cosmetics. After you’ve taken care of the big construction (if any), now’s the time to tackle those cosmetic fixes. If you’re taking down wallpaper and painting rooms, make sure to drape sheets over your furniture to protect it from paint and other chemicals.

This list is but the tip of the iceberg for what needs to be done after moving into a new home. We hope you’ve gained some valuable insight and can use this as a starting point for your post-move responsibilities.

Happy moving!

Headquartered in Boston, Bunker Hill Insurance provides home insurance to customers in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Bunker Hill is a member of The Plymouth Rock Group of Companies, which together write and manage over $1 billion in homeowners and auto insurance throughout the northeast.