By Anne Eickstadt

ANNE EICKSTADT PHOTO Belvidere Daily Republican
Doug Proudfoot of American Family Insurance discussing Spring and Summer Storms at Breakfast Before Business.


The Belvidere Area Chamber of Commerce regularly hosts a Breakfast Before Business meeting to inform those who are able to attend on areas of health, local businesses, and other areas of interest. These meetings include a continental breakfast, attendee gift, and a door prize drawing. They are frequently held at the Keen Age Center at 7:30 a.m.

Doug Proudfoot of American Family Insurance was the most recent speaker on Thursday, May 31. He spoke on “Spring and Summer Storms: What do I need to know and do?”

Proudfoot discussed preparing for severe weather by removing dead trees from the area near your house, cleaning out gutters to prevent rainwater backup, clearing debris from around downspouts, and securing movable outdoor furniture, games, and toys to prevent flying objects in heavy winds.

If there is hail – stay indoors. Hail is capable of injuring you or even killing you.

In case of a tornado, move to the lowest area in the house, preferably an interior room or basement with no windows. Do not leave windows cracked open to equalize pressure. That leads to a wind vortex in the house, which can cause needless damage. After the tornado, watch out for sharp and broken objects on the ground. Keep your eyes open for downed electrical wires.

Be sure you have at least two gallons of drinking water per person in the house during a blizzard in case the electricity goes out and you are stranded. Do not, do not, attempt to use the oven to heat the house.

Take photos of each room in your house. Stand in each corner of the room and take a photo to ensure you capture all your possessions. Keep these in a safe place, (accessible from somewhere else if need be) in case something unthinkable happens. If you do not have an account on the cloud or a safe deposit box, leave a copy with your insurance agent. He/she should already have a good idea of what you have since, as an intelligent person, you have already insured then as part of your homeowners policy.

“If you picked a room in your house right now and attempted to list everything in that room, you can check it when you get home and discover you have not managed to list everything,” Proudfoot said. “If you can’t list it, the insurance company cannot replace it, if needed. Take pictures afterward as well to document what has been damaged or lost.”

He continued on to structures. “Hail does not make roofs leak. Not unless one actually punches through the shingles and creates a hole. Extreme wind can drive rain under the shingles to infiltrate the house, especially old shingles.

“Hail chasers. Be very, very careful when someone comes to your door telling you that you have hail damage. Contact…

For complete article, pick up the June 6 BDR.

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