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Preparing for a Power Outage and Basement Flooding

Photo by Luiz Guimaraes on UnsplashStrong winds and heavy rain followed by a return to freezing temperatures could spell trouble while much of the southern New England is celebrating Christmas this long holiday weekend. To reduce the risk of property damage requiring a Homeowners Insurance or Commercial Property Insurance claim, be aware of the perils and prepare to mitigate them.

With high-wind warnings in effect for late Thursday night into Friday afternoon, power outages are likely throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Heavy rain beginning early Christmas morning and extending into early evening may cause flooding in coastal areas and basements throughout the region, particularly in areas still blanketed in snow and especially in homes where sump pumps are inoperable due to lack of power. Plummeting temperatures Friday night will likely complicate matters.

Massachusetts’ state website,, includes a page on Power Outage Safety Tips, providing guidance on what to do before, during and after an outage. Among the key points for homeowners:

Ensure that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working and have fresh batteries.

  • Consider purchasing a generator to provide power.
  • Ensure that you have sufficient heating fuel. Consider safe backup options such as fireplaces or woodstoves.
  • If you have a generator, follow manufacturer’s instructions and operate it safely.
  • Know how to operate the manual release lever for your electric garage door.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides additional helpful information in its Protect Your Property from High Winds brochure. Key takeaways:

  • Review your insurance policy to verify coverage and know how to file a claim.
  • Document your home’s contents, taking photos or recording video of high-value items.
  • If you lose power, unplug electrical appliances to avoid a surge when power is restored.
  • Secure objects outside the home or commercial property.
  • Seal cracks or gaps to reduce the risk of water damage.

If you do incur damage and need to report a claim to your insurance company, visit Sylvia Group’s File a Claim page. For emergency assistance from Sylvia Group during non-business hours, call our main number, 508-995-4553, and leave a message in the emergency mailbox or access our emergency system. Your call will be returned as soon as possible.

We wish you happy and safe holidays, and hope no claims will be necessary. Taking precautionary measures could make those hopes and wishes come true.

Insurance Account Executive

About Matthew Boyle and Sylvia Group

Sylvia Group Insurance Account Executive Matthew BoyleA licensed insurance producer, Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR) and Certified Professional in Personal Lines (CPPL), Matthew Boyle is passionate about informing and educating his clients on the coverage they have and the policies they should consider. Whether the need is homeowners insurance, auto insurance, specialized coverage such as coastal property insurance, or a basic Business Owners Policy (BOP), he’s committed to protecting each client with the performance-based insurance program that’s right for them.

Sylvia Group uses SPS – the Sylvia Protection System – to empower businesses and individuals with performance-based insurancebenefits and financial planning programs. SPS makes our clients active participants in managing risk and containing premiums, resulting in coverage that is both customized and cost-effective. In addition to making a difference for our clients, we make a difference for our community as a whole by actively supporting and serving many of southern New England’s most reputable and effective nonprofit organizations and institutions. Sylvia Group became an Alera Group company at the outset of 2020, enabling us to combine the local, personal service for which we’re known with the scope and resources of a national firm.