Ahead of a big storm, the Red Cross says be sure to have supplies... and a plan

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- When a tropical storm, hurricane or other major weather event strikes, there are a number of things you should do to prepare.

That includes everything from checking your insurance policy to making sure your emergency kit is ready.

The Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania says there are several simple things you can do now.

The first thing to do is make sure you have an emergency kit with water, non-perishable food, your medications and phone chargers.

The second thing you should do: make a plan.

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Nydia Han Interviews Guy Triano from the Red Cross about how to prepare for storms like Tropical Storm Elsa.

"Find out - if you do need to evacuate - where you're going to go, and make sure your pets are included in that plan," said Guy Triano of the Red Cross.

Third: Be informed.

"Download the Red Cross apps, watch your local news, listen to the warning signs," Triano said.

To prepare for power outages, Triano recommends unplugging large appliances and make sure you have current surge protectors for household electronics.

You'll also want to make sure that all of your backup chargers and your phones are fully charged.

When it comes to homeowner insurance, make sure you know what's covered and what isn't. Wind damage typically is covered, but flood damage is a little more complicated.

"Water that comes from the outside into the home is typically not covered under a traditional homeowner's policy. That is something that would have to be covered under a separate policy, a flood insurance policy," said Jonathan Greer of the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania.

No matter what kind of coverage you have, take inventory of your possessions. That means making a list, snapping photos of the items and any receipts.

"Just any evidence in any record to demonstrate the value was associated with the home, inside the home, is something good to have," he said.

Also be aware that in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, insurers are permitted to charge special deductibles for hurricane damage.

Check your policy or consult with your agency to see if a special wind storm, named storm, or hurricane deductible is required.
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