HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — For many, your home can be seen as one of the biggest assets and investments you can make. So, before a hurricane, you want to take the proper steps to protect your property, and there are several ways to do so.

Carly Thomas, with the Harlingen Board of Realtors, has been in real estate her whole life, with a mom in the business who is now her broker.

Thomas said the first thing she recommends for any new client or homeowner is to make sure you are insured – so that way you are protected.

“Just get in contact with their insurance agent and make sure they have the proper coverages needed to ensure that if there was a loss during a hurricane they would be covered,” she said.

Broker and owner of GRT Realty, Craige Grove said there are many new subdivisions and open lots for development popping up constantly.

“Even if you paid off your home I know a lot of people look at insurance as being an extra cost once you paid off your home, now when you have a mortgage you have to carry insurance but when you paid off your home some people chose not to and I really urge them to get insurance because it is critical,” Grove said.

He said a lot of people think, that because water comes into their home then their flood insurance should cover it.

“Well if that rain was blown in through a broken window and the house got wet that way and it wasn’t from an actual flood the flood insurance won’t cover it,” Grove said.

Longtime insurance agent Derek Benavides said homeowners have options when it comes to insurance policies and rates. Benavides said there are free things you can do to keep your home safe.

This includes contacting a licensed and reputable roofer, cutting any branches, clearing any debris, and checking your rain gutters.

“For something that can be avoided that’s so simple as getting the most basic policy that can cover most people’s most important asset and largest purchase they’ll make in their lifetime to have that kind of conversation with their licensed insurance agent and have a policy it’s just so worth it,” Benavides said.

Realtors also say it is best to take pictures and do an inventory of your items and also unplug your appliances because a power outage could damage them. The key is to stay prepared so that way your biggest investment can stay safe.