Click Emergency Resources

Reach out to Federal Emergency Management Agency, Disaster Relief Improvement Program and American Red Cross, and to state and local governments for emergency assistance. You can also find help in your community.

“Disasters bring people together,” McClanahan said. “People really know how to help people.

“If you have an opportunity to help, do it,” she added. “You might need help one day.”

Contact your mortgage and other lenders if you may be having trouble paying off your loan.

Prepare for insurance claims

If you are going to submit an insurance claiminventory the damage before you start cleanup.

Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage, but delay permanent repairs until reimbursement is approved. Write down the names of everyone you speak to about your claim, including the date of the conversation and a summary of what was said. And keep all receipts.

Understand your flood benefit

Flooding, including storm surge, is not covered by most standard insurance policies. Flood insurance requires a separate policy or federal National Flood Insurance Program or a private insurer. There is a 30-day waiting period before flood coverage becomes effective.

Flood car insurance is an option under the comprehensive part of the policy.

Know your deductible

An aerial view of Fort Myers Beach, Florida, during a Coast Guard flight after Hurricane Ian on Oct. 2, 2022.

Miami Herald | Tribune news service | Getty Images

Many property owners in Florida will face a “hurricane franchise,“, which is different from the standard insurance deductible. It is usually a percentage of the value of the property.

“If you have a $300,000 home, you could have a $15,000 hurricane deductible before the insurance starts paying,” said Bob Rasbaldt, CEO of Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America.

Rasbuldt predicts that after Hurricane Jan, it will be difficult for consumers to find property insurance.

Many will now face even higher premiums and deductibles, and may have to find a new insurance company if their insurance company declines. Many Florida property owners already have insurance CitizensFlorida’s state insurance company of last resort.