It’ that time of year again: A depression is forming somewhere off the Ivory Coast. So stock up on those Duracell D’s. Steal that 5- gallon Crystal Water bottle from the office cooler. Track that breeze minute by minute – with updates every fifteen minutes right here on your local weather station. Maybe it’s just Miami and maybe we go a bit overboard, but we’ve suffered enough billion-dollar beatings from Andrew, Wilma and their gusty brethren to know that the threats are real and we need to be prepared.

So what do you do to take care of you and yours this windy season? Just remember A, B, C.

Ask your agent if you have wind and flood coverage. Like it sounds, wind covers wind damage, flood covers rising water. Most times you need both as insurers like to point fingers at each other and say the damage was caused by something they didn’t cover.

Be prepared. Have photos of your home and personal property as well as a copy of your insurance papers online. If you have a receipt for that new fridge, email it to yourself so it’s stored off-site. Around the house keep H2O, batteries, dried/canned foods, toiletries and flashlights on hand. A portable gas grill also helps for cooking. Or just pack up the kids, the dog, the cat and the goldfish, head north, and wait out the storm somewhere safe.

Call a qualified professional to help if your insurance company is not responding properly to your loss. Licensed public adjusters and attorneys know what should be covered and for how much.

Hopefully, we’ll have another quiet storm season, and another summer stockpile of batteries and bottles you can stack up in the garage for next year. But like they say – better safe than wiped out.

Russel Lazega is an attorney and author of several of Florida’s most widely distributed legal textbook on Florida Insurance Law: West’s Florida Practice Series Volume 7 and West’s Florida Insurance Law & Practice. Mr. Lazega represents policyholders and condominium associations and is based in Dania Beach, Orlando and Tampa, Florida. Contact:

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