Welcome back to the last week of our 4 part series on how to prepare for a hurricane. Here is a recap of what we discussed in the first three articles:
1. Make sure to stock up on essential food and water with an eye on getting items with a long shelf life as there may be a chance you are without electric or under a state of emergency for a while which might restrict your access to food or water.
2. Have all your documents in a easily accessible place so you can grab them if you are in a hurry, this should include your insurance policy as you will need it should you have to file a Hurricane related insurance claim.
3. Make sure you have a fully stocked first aid kit and essential hygiene products.
4. Know your evacuation route before disaster hits.
5. Document Everything. As public adjusters we can’t stress this enough. There have been countless times that one of our public adjusters are called out to a homeowner in distress after their home got destroyed by a hurricane, but are limited to what they could do because there was no documentation or pictures on the inside of the house in its pre-loss condition. It could be as simple as taking a video of both the inside and outside of your home it takes two minutes but cold save you thousands.
6. Protect your property!!! Shutter your windows and lock your doors. This has a dual purpose to protect you from your windows from being impacted during the hurricane as well as protecting your home from potential vandelism and looters.
This week we will go over two more steps to include in your hurricane preparation.
With record breaking temperatures for April and more and more reports coming in from weather stations predicting a busier then normal hurricane season this year all indicatoins point to a 30% increase in named storms for 2020.
Granted the weather stations don’t always get it right but being stuck at home because of the Coronavirus gives the perfect opportunity to get you and your family prepared.
Step 7. Keep up to date on the hurricane in real time. During a active hurricane warning most news stations have a live tracker with the latest predicted hurricane path. Keeping up to date will help you make a safe and educated decision on whether to evacuate or not. If you are evacuating keep a battery powered radio handy just in case phone service goes down and you can use your phone for updates.
Battery Power!!!!! A typical hurricane will last 12-24 hours before the winds die down most people think that once this happens life goes back to normal. As Florida residents we know all to well that the aftermath of a hurricane could go on for days after. After Hurricane Irma wrecked havoc through south and central Florida power was down for 2-3 days and in the worse hit areas up to 7 days.
If possible try stock up on as many battery powered devices as possible this includes flashlight, radios, and fans. Most stovetops in Florida are electric powered and if the power goes out for a extended period of time it cause issues with cooking. This is why its a good idea to stock up on propane gas and make sure your grill is working.
To conclude, being prepared for a potential devastating hurricane can potentially reduce anxiety related to the storm bearing down on you. Having the right plan in place and through preparation the ability to leave at a moments notice will have a huge positive effect on your Hurricane experiance.
If you end up having to file an insurance claim because of damage you incurred to your home during a hurricane remember you have options. At the end of the day this is your home and your most important asset it always pays to get a second opinion or advise from a homeowners insurance expert.
If you do have damage from Hurricane Irma keep in mind that the statute of limitations to file a claim is up in September of this year.