Steps you can take to prepare your home for a tsunami

Tsunami Awareness Month

HONOLULU (KHON2) — April is Tsunami Awareness Month, and one insurance company says it’s also the perfect time to get ready in case one hits.

According to DTRIC Insurance, there are a number of steps people can take before it happens.

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One of the first things people should do is check if they are located in a tsunami evacuation or inundation zone. These maps can be found on the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency website.

“They can check to see if they’re in an inundation zone or not. Based on that, they can again have a discussion with their insurance agent to try to decide which is the best type of coverage that they should obtain for themselves,” said Mike Mishima with DTRIC Insurance.

For those that do fall in these flood zones, Mishima said they may have to purchase additional insurance.

“Tsunamis are not included as part of a standard homeowners insurance policy,” said Mishima.

He said flood insurance can likely cover tsunami damage, but people should check with their agents to see what is available.

Mishima said another thing that is important is preparation. Before a tsunami event, people should have their items and home documented. They can do this by taking pictures, videos or writing it down.

“If you do have damage to your home and you have an inventory of whatever’s in the house and it’s, you do realize it’s damage. At least you’re like a step ahead in trying to make the claim.”

Mike Mishima, DTRIC Insurance

He also recommends keeping important documents in a safe bag that can be picked up and easy to travel with, or have a copy of those documents via pictures on a phone.

If a tsunami occurs that damages one’s home, he said one of the first calls that should be made is to an insurance agent to start filing a claim. Before any clean up for flooding damage is taken, people should also take pictures of the damage, so they have before and after pictures to show to strengthen their claim.

Flood insurance usually can only cover up to $250,000 for home structure damage and $100,000 for personal property.

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