What experts say on being prepared in case disaster strikes your home

As Hurricane Ian makes its way toward Florida, people with properties on the panhandle are preparing to hopefully prevent significant damage to their homes.

“You’re talking from a little damage to a total loss of the house,” said Aris Papadopoulos, construction industry veteran and founder of nonprofit Resilience Action Fund.

Papadopoulos has made it his mission to educate consumers on what they can do to be in homes that will survive natural hazards such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and fires.

He offered advice to Boston 25 News viewers on how to be prepared should disaster strike and you need to file an insurance claim.

“Information is very important in these situations,” said Papadopoulos. “Having an inventory of what the contents were in the house, having pictures is even better because that can expedite the whole situation.”

Papadopoulos said regardless of where we live, keeping an inventory log and taking photos ahead of time can be extremely helpful in speeding up the process when it comes to filing an insurance claim.

“It varies considerably from insurance company to insurance company,” said Papadopoulos. “You may be fortunate and things may move quickly, or you may be you know less fortunate and be waiting for a year or two to get things totally resolved, and that’s a long time,” Papadopoulos said much of a house’s damage risk has to do with its location and construction.

“Let’s say 80% of your vulnerability is based on the decision of the house you pick,” said Papadopoulos. “Pay attention to location, elevation, construction of the house, and a number of things that could make it vulnerable or strong.”

He said the other 20% of vulnerability is variable and can change depending on renovations we make after purchasing the home.

“A lot of people focus on cosmetic renovations,” said Papadopoulos. “We all like a pretty kitchen and a nice bathroom, but we need to begin prioritizing those renovations that can make the house stronger, for example, the roof.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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