Hurricanes are Floridians’ biggest potential natural disasters. It is important to know the steps to prepare for potential attacks. But what do you do once the storm has passed? Here are your post-hurricane must-dos:
Situations Regarding Power
Avoid loose power lines or lines that have fallen by your home. If you see any loose lines, report them to your local fire or police departments in addition to your area’s transmission and distribution service provider.
If a hurricane hits, it is likely that you will be out of power for a few days. If you are lucky enough to have access to a generator, never EVER use it indoors (even if you have ventilation.) This includes indoor spaces such as basements, crawlspaces, sheds, and garages. The exhaust fumes contain very high levels of carbon monoxide that can be deadly if inhaled. It is also important to remember to allow your generator to cool off before refilling it with gas. Filling a hot or running generator with gas can cause a fire.
When power returns to your home, avoid starting all your major appliances at once. Gradually turn them on to reduce damage to your expensive household devices.
Tip: Same as the generator rule, never use charcoal indoors because the high levels of carbon monoxide produced by burning charcoal can be lethal.
What to do about Damage
Take photos of all of the damage done to your home and belongings. While taking photos, make a running list of all of the items that were lost or damaged due to the hurricane. These steps will make insurance claims go much smoother. Make sure to file your claim as soon as you have gathered all pertinent information. Insurance companies work on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Do not start permanent repairs until an insurance adjuster reviews your damage. Only conduct what needs to be done in order to prevent further damage (i.e. place a tarp over an open roof or cover broken windows to keep rain out of the house.)
If your home is inhabitable, secure safe lodging for you and your family until your home is repaired. Do not try to live in a home that is not safe. There are many options available to you if you do not have friends or family able to accommodate. Fill out a FEMA application at disasterassistance.gov if you cannot afford lodging. The government will determine if you are eligible for free hotel lodging until your home is habitable again. They generally will get back to you within 24 hours regarding lodging.
Most of All
Stay calm. Ask neighbors for help securing your home. Make sure your employer understands your living situation so they can accommodate as much as possible. When natural disasters like this strike, the community tends to stick together more than ever.
If you have any questions regarding hurricanes or what to do in natural disasters situations, please feel free to contact our office.
We care about our community and helping you is always our number one priority.