Prepare your home ahead of busy storm season

Posted at 12:01 AM, Feb 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-25 00:01:57-05

Twisters turning up in the sunshine state are putting homeowners on high alert. The National Weather Service is predicting an active year because of El Nino.

Just over a month ago the residents on Southeast Coconut Street in Hobe Sound were hit an EF-1 tornado.

Rise LaChance is going to bed every night knowing she has three shattered windows and another storm could hit at any time.

"Whoever thinks that you're going to get hit by a tornado?" said LaChance.

Being woken up to the roaring wind was terrifying for LaChance.

"All of a sudden the windows blew in and it blew off my screen, my blinds," added LaChance.

It was short-lived, but dealing with the aftermath is taking much longer.

"I got two estimates for the windows," said LaChance.

A major insurance company says it's wind damage claims increased by 63 percent from 2014 to 2015. Now with El Nino steaming up the Pacific, meteorologists believe the spin off result is more potential damage.

Some important tips for homeowners are:

  • Review your current insurance policy with an agent you trust. Make sure you're covered for wind damage.
  • Organize important documents and keep them in another secure location like a bank safe-deposit box.
  • Make an inventory of your things, indoors and outdoors, to speed up insurance claims if there's property loss
  • After the storm, use reputable contractors recommended by your insurance company

"The only thing I've gotten was the yard cleaned up," said LaChance.

She's still waiting on money from her insurance company to repair her roof and windows, now she knows the process after the impact.

"If I had known that I would have seen if I could get a lower deductible," she added.

The National Weather Service says Florida has already has 21 tornados touch down just this year. In the 2015 there were 24 twisters.