Experts say prepare early to protect yourself from severe weather

Many are hoping last Monday's severe weather isn't the beginning of a volatile spring season. But, experts say it's important to prepare for the worst now to protect you and your property.

As the severe weather rolled in on Monday, the IKEA parking garage in Round Rock was packed, but people weren't there to shop. They were here to protect their vehicles from hail and tornado damage.

"We knew this was one of the only parking garages in the area, so we were like let's head that way," said Sarah Schultz of Georgetown.

"Honestly, I have a brand new car and I don't want it to get damaged," said Megan Highwood of Round Rock.

"They said like baseball sized maybe hail, so definitely trying to avoid that hitting our truck," said Jake Schultz of Georgetown.

We spoke with the Insurance Council of Texas, and they say these people have the right idea when it comes to being prepared and protecting your vehicle from spring storms.

"If there's a way they can get your car indoors under a carport, you know some sort of protection, even taking old blankets or towels and covering your car in it," said Rich Johnson, Communications Director with the Insurance Council of Texas.

Johnson says you should also make sure hail damage is covered under your car policy—just in case. 

"It's not collision, and it's not liability. So you got to have that comprehensive coverage in order to have coverage for hail damage," said Johnson.

And it’s not just hail. Flooding can also cause major damage to your car during the springtime. Johnson says protecting yourself starts with never driving through standing water.

"Turn around, don't drown. That’s always been the big catch phrase. And it's true. It's just, it's not worth it. It's not worth your safety. It's not worth the damage that it can be done to your vehicle," said Johnson.

As for your home, check FEMA’s website now to see how flood-prone your neighborhood is. You may want to look into flood insurance.

"Flood is not covered under a typical homeowner's insurance policy, so in order to be covered for flood damage, you would actually need a flood policy," said Johnson. "If you call your insurer today to get your flood policy, it actually doesn't take effect for 30 days."

Unlike flooding, your homeowner's policy should have your back in the event of a tornado like we saw on Monday.

"Typically damage caused by a tornado will be covered," said Johnson.

But if you know high winds are coming, make sure you protect your property as best you can.

"Secure your deck furniture, any kind of potted plants, anything that can become a projectile," said Johnson.

Bottom line: prepare now before it's too late.

"I think the biggest thing is create that plan, get that plan together, your evacuation routes, and create that emergency kit. Then go ahead and call your insurance professional. Make sure that you have all the coverage that you need," said Johnson.

Because one thing you can always count on around here, is unpredictable spring weather.

"We've had a lot of craziness go on the past couple years technically, so we just kind of play it day by day," said Highwood.

"Yeah, I mean you never know with Texas," said Sarah Schultz.

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