Homeowners Prepare For Sandy

Insurance companies expect to be busy processing claims after the storm. There are steps you can take now to limit damage.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Homeowners around Connecticut are starting to take steps to prepare for the possible arrival of Hurricane Sandy.

    In Bloomfield, the deck behind Elsa Pleasant's home is empty as she has taken in her patio furniture.

    "I'm a bit concerned especially after the experience we had last year and it's kind of freaky that it's happening about the same time," said Pleasant.

    In Hartford, Delroy Thomas is also securing his patio furniture inside and he's ready if the power goes out.

    "I already have my generator so I'll just wait and see."

    If Sandy brings widespread flooding and power outages like we saw last year from Tropical Storm Irene and the October snowstorm, insurance companies expect to be busy.

    Ray Stone, the Vice President of Catastrophe Operations with Travelers, showed us around the Travelers Claim University in Windsor where insurance professionals are trained to assess damage after storms.  Their mock-houses even have wind damage and tree damage.

    "Safety is always first and at this point you should be preparing an evacuation plan, have determined an evacuation route that you'll take," said Stone.  "If you're told to evacuate, you should.  This storm is going to potentially bring some record setting rainfall and a heavy storm surge."

    Here are some tips Stone mentioned for homeowners during the tour:

    *Remove anything outside that can cause harm in high winds.

    *Close storm shutters or put up plywood if you live near the shore. 

    *Clean leaves and other debris out of your gutters, downspouts,  and storm drains.

    *Move items in your basement to higher ground.

    *Make sure your sump pump is plugged in, operational, and that the drain is clear.

    *Keep a copy of your insurance policy with you in case you need to file a claim.