For more information on this and other emergency preparedness tips, visit ready.gov.
In dealing with the financial impact of a devastating storm, Gary Stephenson of State Farm recommends three simple steps: report, repair, and record.
Storm victims should immediately contact their agent or insurer before making initial repairs to prevent further damage. Finally, provide a list of damages, if possible.
Stephenson also offered advice in making repair decisions. Never pay in advance or in cash, he said, suggesting individuals contact their respective insurance agent before hiring a contractor.
He advised using caution in dealing with pushy repairmen and recommended hiring local workers with trusted recommendations.
Professional contractors will have proper proof of insurance, he added, suggesting storm victims request such proof before deciding on a provider.