A Nor’easter began to wreak havoc in New England and the surrounding areas Tuesday and the inclement effects are expected to continue through Friday. Flooded roads, wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour, hail of up to three quarters of an inch thick, and fallen trees and power lines have already been reported.

Now, many readers may be thinking “Wow, that sounds pretty intense, but… what exactly is a Nor’easter?” As the name suggests, a Nor’easter is characterized by strong Northeasterly winds blowing over coastal regions. They most often form when warm air from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic meets polar air masses from the North. The temperature difference forms a low pressure area that causes the prolonged northeasterly wind which can lead to flooding, hurricane force winds, erosion, and blizzard conditions.

If your home or business is in an area affected by the Nor’easter and your property experiences damage, keep in mind the following post-loss obligations contained in most insurance policies:

  • Notify your insurance company of any property damage claims as promptly as possible.
  • Take steps that are reasonable and necessary to protect the property from any further damage.
  • Keep accurate records of any repairs and expenses that you incur due to the loss.
  • Make a list of any damaged personal property and gather any receipts.

One step that is not a policy requirement, but is definitely a good idea: Photograph the damage – that way you have an accurate depiction of the how your property looked immediately after the storm and avoid (or at least try to avoid) an insurance carrier from later claiming, “Oh, it couldn’t have been that bad.”