Simple things you can do to stay healthy and safe before and after you lose electricity.
At Hastings Mutual, we’ve got a long history with insurance coverage for windstorms. The company was actually formed as the Michigan Mutual Tornado, Cyclone, and Windstorm Company in 1885, after cyclones struck Hastings and the surrounding area twice in three years, causing about $225,000 in damage (roughly $5.7 million today).
These days, our Homeowners coverage applies to more than just windstorms and hail; it now covers losses from fire or lightning, the weight of ice, snow, or sleet, theft, and sudden and accidental damage from electrical current, among other “perils.” (We also cover damage from volcanic eruption — not normally an issue in our six-state region, but we want to be comprehensive for you!)
So far this winter, it’s been pretty mild throughout our coverage area. There have been some blasts of snow and cold, but they haven’t lasted long, and it certainly hasn’t been as chilly as last winter’s deathly cold polar vortex. When cold weather does blow in, it often brings other hazards with it, like icy roads and power outages.
We’ve talked about reducing your risks and being prepared before. But having supplies ready to go is just the start of what you need to be ready for a storm and power outage. If there’s no electricity, you might be able to turn to a generator. Or you can do what may seem obvious, like opening the refrigerator as little as possible and developing a plan to have a supply of necessary medication. Power companies recommend always being prepared for an outage of 48 hours or more.
When the power goes out, shut down as much as you can. Turn off electronic devices so they aren’t damaged when the power is finally restored.
If the refrigerator and freezer aren’t doing the job, it’s time to take the next steps. Put ice in a cooler and keep cold foods in there to make them last as long as possible when a refrigerator or freezer begins to warm up. If food gets too warm, though, it may need to be thrown out no matter what. The USDA has a pretty comprehensive list on its website.
If there is a windstorm, power outage, or similar issue — even volcanic eruption — one of the best tools you can have is a Hastings Mutual Homeowners policy. Talk to your local independent insurance agent about the policy that’s right for you.
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Hastings Mutual Insurance Company 404 E. Woodlawn Ave. Hastings, MI 49058