CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Hurricane season is in full effect, but the reality is that many people aren't prepared if a storm comes their way.
This is especially true when it comes to insurance coverage. The important thing is to be proactive and get coverage ahead of time. Most policies take about 30 days to kick in.
When staying prepared, the first thing to do is document and take note of all belongings and valuables.
Leslie Henderson from the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes urged against any insurance surprises.
"Be sure to complete a home inventory," Henderson said. "Take your phone, walk through your house and talk about what you have. Take that camera, take a picture of all your electronics, get the serial number and all the models. Do the same for the outside of your home. So if you do have an insurance claim, it'll make it more seamless."
Also, be sure to stock up on the right supplies because a hurricane could cut off power and water, or prevent driving due to damage to your car. Roads may be flooded or blocked so keep an emergency medical supply and emergency power sources such as flashlights with extra batteries.
People should also include important medical documents, passports and personal identification in their storm preparedness kit.
Outside of protecting their valuables, homeowners also want to speak with their insurance provider about obtaining flood insurance if they live in a high-risk zone. Remember, regular homeowner's insurance does not include flood coverage.
If homeowners are unsure about where to start when it comes to getting flood insurance, go to floodsmart.gov.
"Usually there's a difference between having four inches of rain in your house or four feet," State Farm Agent Will Deaton said. "The entire Nueces County is in a flood zone. Some are in affordable flood zones. It's not very expensive, some are in a very expensive high risk flood zone like on the island."
Keep in mind, if homeowners don't already have insurance when a named storm is on its way, some insurance providers will not allow them to get insurance or make any changes. Also remember, with a flood policy, there is a 30 day wait, which means they won't be insured immediately.
The Insurance Information Institutehas good information for people who may own a co-op, apartment or condo. They encourage people to check with their management company and the bylaws to understand what is covered under the building's master insurance policy versus what damages are need to cover individually.
In addition, if renovations were recently made to the home, the amount of coverage may need to be readjusted to reflect the additional value of the property.
All in all, make sure to be aware of what's needed before Mother Nature shows it.
Hurricane season lasts until Nov. 30.