Baltimore, MD – With Hurricane Irma swiftly making it’s way toward the States, Maryland emergency officials are urging locals to prepare for the ever-strengthening storm.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan tweeted this afternoon the following: “Preparing for an emergency before it happens can make a huge difference in our homes and communities.”

Forecasters say rainfall of massive proportions and damaging winds could hit Maryland hard next week, according to The Baltimore Sun.

If Hurricane Irma does in fact hit the east coast, it will could bring damaging winds, flooding, and possibly even tornadoes. A meteorologist for the National Weather Service, Andy Woodcock, says that hurricanes are a completely different animal from other low pressure areas. This means that they “contain huge amounts of moisture and can produce prodigious amounts of rainfall.”

Do you have questions about flood insurance? Find an insurance claims attorney in Maryland today.

Woodcock further points out that if Hurricane Irma acts as it forecasters are predicting, then Baltimore residents should “expect a very active weather day Tuesday.” If this is the case, then it is time for Maryland residents to consider flood insurance.

A poll by the Insurance Information Institute (III) revealed only 14 percent of households had flood insurance in 2015, and only 12 percent of households were covered in 2016. Even more problematic as Hurricane Irma looms around the corner, only three percent of homeowners in Maryland are covered for flood damages, according to data from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

There are many things you can do to prepare your home for Hurricane Irma, starting with reviewing your insurance policy. Here is how to make a hurricane plan for your home:

Read your insurance policy. 

After verifying that your coverage is up to date, make sure there is enough coverage for both your living expenses and valuables. General homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flood damage, and if there is anything to learn from Hurricane Harvey, it is that you don’t need to live along a river to need flood insurance. Do yourself a favor and get flood insurance before it is too late.

Prepare your home.

Bring in any potted plants, lawn furniture, and anything else that has the potential to turn into a missile when a hurricane comes. If you haven’t already, invest in storm shutters in order to protect your windows during the storm. You should also make sure you have batteries, canned food, first aid supplies, flashlights, and plenty of water.

Collect important documents. 

If you need to file a homeowner’s insurance claim, you will want to do so as quickly as possible. Having important documents readily available will help your insurance claim process much more quickly. Important documents include a home inventory listing, photos of your home before the hurricane, insurance policy information, and contact information for your insurance agent.

Have an evacuation plan. 

Even though you may not need to evacuate, you should still prepare for it. Find the best evacuation route and establish a meeting place about 50 miles inland in the event you and your family members are separated. Pack batteries, a first aid kit, and contact information, and don’t forget to plan for your pets.

Contact an insurance claims attorney. 

Insurance companies are notorious for making it extremely difficult to recover damages after a hurricane. If your homeowner’s insurance claim is denied, is here to help. Baltimore insurance claims lawyers will review your policy and determine if you are entitled to additional funds. Contact our insurance claims attorneys in Maryland today to schedule a free case evaluation.