Doing all you can to protect your home and property is a top priority, especially during hurricane season. While the weather can be unpredictable, it’s worth the peace of mind to be prepared for severe weather events or emergencies.

Homeowners should start by reviewing their insurance policies and ensuring that there is enough coverage on the property. Be aware that standard home insurance policies are not all-inclusive — there are home insurance coverages specifically designed to cover hurricane and flood losses. Learn the differences between hurricane and flood insurance, as they cover different types of damage.


Next, you may want to prepare your home by installing wind-resistant devices, such as hurricane clips, storm shutters or impact-resistant windows. Other projects might include fixing or upgrading your foundation, siding and rain gutters. Inspect your roof to determine if any maintenance — or perhaps even a new roof — is needed to be able to sustain high winds and prevent water damage from heavy rains.

While a home equity line of credit (HELOC) is traditionally used for large kitchen and bathroom renovations, homeowners find it just as convenient for home improvement and maintenance projects. A HELOC also gives homeowners immediate access to funds in case of an emergency. Unlike a loan, you don’t make any payments or accrue interest until you actually draw on the funds.

“Interest rates on HELOCs are still low and are usually lower than credit cards or other unsecured loan options,” said Derek Wong, senior vice president of credit products at First Hawaiian Bank. “You have access to your line at any time to pay for home improvements, as well as for other needs and emergencies. Also, you don’t have to save up to pay for these projects, meaning you can complete the improvements sooner.”


For more information about HELOCs or other financing options, talk to a personal banker at First Hawaiian Bank today.

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