Before and after winter storms: advance planning and filing claims

With a major ice storm under our belt, many area residents are just getting power and heat back and we are facing more potential adverse weather over the weekend.
The American Insurance Association offers handy tips to homeowners following the northeast storm, which include pointers on how to start the insurance process. And if your home has been damaged or destroyed, you may want to invest two and a half minutes to watch the Insurance Information Institute’s advice on how to file a homeowner’s claim:

Preparing for the next storm
With some advance notice, there are things you can do to prepare for winter storm emergencies. Here are a few good resources:
The American Red Cross suggests a list of supplies to include in a home emergency kit, covering such items as water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies, and special items.
Winter Power Outage Tips – an excellent resource on what to do before, during, and after an outage compiled by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.
Don’t Freeze Up (PDF) – good tips for preventing frozen pipes.
Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning After an Emergency – The Centers for Disease Control inform us that every year, more than 500 people die in the U. S. from accidental CO poisoning and, sadly, here in New England, we have had carbon monoxide-related deaths after the recent storms. In Massachusetts, the law states that you must have a carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home, excluding unfinished basements, attics and crawl spaces. You may need more than one per floor because detectors must be placed within 10 feet of a bedroom door. This is good advice for homeowners whether or not your state has a law. Be sure to refresh your batteries periodically.