In terms of snow totals overall, the 2014-2015 snow season is the record breaker, with 110.6 inches in Boston; Lowell and Worcester both came in at about 120 inches for the season.
While yesterday’s storm proved less intense in some areas than predicted, there were hours of heavy, damaging wind and the coast was battered. Many communities saw power outages, and some people are coping with storm related property damage today.
Claire Wilkinson of the Insurance Information Institute’s blog has a handy run-down: Winter Storm Damage? Insurers Have You Covered, discussing damages that are typically covered by auto policies and homeowners policies. The good news is that typical homeowners policies cover most home-related storm damage with a few exceptions.
One exception is flooding, which would include melting snow seeping into the cellar. Flooding is not typically covered by Homeowners, you need a specific flood coverage, a separate policy. See our prior post: Does homeowners insurance cover flooding?
While flooding from a burst pipes or ice dams would generally be covered, Wilkinson notes that in the event of burst pipes, “there is generally a requirement that the homeowner has taken reasonable steps to prevent these losses by keeping the house warm and properly maintaining the pipes and drains.”
Snow day! Despite many closures in anticipation of a fast-moving storm today, some people still need to be out and about, and most of us will need to deal with the subsequent cleanup. We’ve ferreted through our archives to find some of the best tips we’ve found on cealing wiht the snow safely. And to get you in the spirit, we’re offering a few interesting snow related clips:
Here’s a mesmerizing extreme snow removal video that may make you feel better about a measly 8-14 inches
Burglar garage door tactic #1: Thieves are often breaking into cars not to steal the car, but to steal the garage door opener. If thieves spot a garage door opener in your parked vehicle, they steal it, harvest your home address from the car registration or other identifying material in your glove compartment, and break into your garage while you are still out and about. And unless your garage is a free-standing unit, getting into the garage will offer easy access to your entire house.
The solution is simple – keep garage door opener on your key chain so you can take it with you in your purse or pocket when you exit the car.
Burglar garage door tactic #2: Most people feel pretty safe if they have their garage door closed, but in just a matter of seconds, experienced thieves can break in to your garage with a simple wire hanger by hooking the release valve. This short video shows how – it;s pretty scary — and the clip also offers a solution to deter this by using a cable tie.
You should test breaking the cable tie from the inside to be sure that the door could still be used as an emergency exit. Here are two alternate products that can help to secure your garage from Garage Shield.
Your garage is an entry point to your entire home – and as the article above notes, if burglars get in your garage and close the door, they have good cover for wreaking havoc. All too often, the door between the garage and the home is unlocked or insufficiently secure. Here are some ideas to increase your defenses: Top 10 Garage Door Security Tips to Prevent Break-Ins.
How do burglars choose a home to break in to? Once they pick a target, how do they actually break in? And once in a home, what are they looking for? If you want to know that, go to the experts. KGW TV station in Portland, Oregon did just that. They turned to 86 inmates in the Oregon Department of Corrections, poling them in a 17-question survey questions ranging from whether security signs or alarms stopped them and what homeowners can do to avoid being burglarized. They compiled the results in an article – plus, you can read all the inmates’ answers: We asked 86 burglars how they broke into homes
They also interviewed Jerome Gilgan, who had spent seven years in prison for crimes including drugs, auto theft and burglary. Gilgan now helps rehabilitate others as a counselor with Volunteers of America. He offered great – and rather scary – insight into ow burglars think. We’re embedding the video interviews below.