Steps to preparing your home for Hurricane Matthew

VIDEO: Steps to preparing your home for Hurricane Matthew

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The S.C. Department of Insurance is encouraging people to be storm ready ahead of Hurricane Matthew.

Though we don't know what impact the hurricane will have in our area, it is important to prepare.

The director of the S.C. Department of Insurance, Ray Farmer, says protecting your property from the damages associated with severe weather is part of the process.

It was just this week last year the Charleston area was faced with the the 1,000 year flood. A North Charleston neighborhood, Pepperhill, was hit hard and is now prepping for more severe weather.

Sharon Knoch lives in that neighborhood where a typical day of rain can cause flooding, with threats of Hurricane Mathew she's not sure what to do.

"It's kind of a big debate do we go and get a big truck and try to get ahead of it and save as much of our furniture and everything that we own again," Knoch said.

One year ago she lost nearly everything from the 1,000 year flood. She was just able to move back this summer while some people haven't at all. Now she's warning others to be prepared.

"Check your policy and make sure that somebody who knows the legal rigmarole understands what's covered and what's not," Knoch said.  "Our home was covered by flood insurance, just the building."

The South Carolina Department of Insurance director says you should know your policy ahead of severe weather that way you know what you're responsible for if there is damage to your home.

Shawn Frazier lives down the street and is preparing for the worst.

"Any tropical storm that comes too heavy, our home could flood again our water like to rise all the way up to the cement," Frazier said.

You also need to create an inventory of all your belongings in your home so you know what's damaged or missing. You can write it down or take pictures of every room.

"We lost an entire file cabinet of our papers everything had to be replaced, you have to keep it all somewhere where it's easy to grab, someplace waterproof," Knoch said.

Make your home as safe as possible by locking your windows and also by  bringing lawn furniture, grills and other outdoor items inside.

"Do you panic, do you give into that urge to run or do you kind of wait and see what happens and run the risk?" Knoch said.

You can find more information here on how to prepare your home and as well as a handout and information on a free app to help you put together your home inventory.

The Department of Insurance is there to help and you can reach them with questions or concerns at 1-800-768-3467. You should also contact your insurance provider for questions about your coverage.

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