When hurricanes are forming and heading our way there is information coming at us from all different directions. The main thing is if local authorities advise you to evacuate do so immediately and know where you are going to go. If you live in a mobile home, a high rise building, or directly on the coast don’t hesitate to go inland as quickly as possible. If you have time before you go make sure to place shutters or plywood on all of your windows, remember tape doesn’t prevent windows from breaking. It is also important to make sure trees and shrubs are well trimmed, and to make sure your gutters are cleaned out.
An excellent resource here in Flagler County to keep all citizens aware of impending disasters is www.flagleremergency.com. This site is frequently updated during emergencies. There is also an emergency information line and that number is 386-313-4200.
Consult policy documentation for coverage amounts and deductibles so you can be prepared to make a claim. In Florida, homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage, so Floridian homeowners and renters must purchase additional flood insurance. Verify that the insurance coverage matches the replacement value of your home in the current market. Determine whether you have actual cash value or replacement coverage for possessions; cash value coverage only reimburses the depreciated value of property. Conduct a video or photo inventory of household items including furniture, electronics and other valuables to back up any potential claims. Email the inventory to yourself so it can be accessed from anywhere.
Additional information to know about hurricanes is the different categories they fall in to.
An intensity scale of 1-5 is placed on hurricanes to give an estimate of the potential property damage and flooding expected along the coast by the Saffi-Simpson Hurricane Scale.
The categories are as follows:
Category 1- 74-95 mph winds,
Category 2- 96-110 mph winds,
Category 3- 111-130 mph winds,
Category 4- 131-155 mph winds,
and Category 5- are winds greater than 155 mph.
Remember Frances, Ivan, Jeanne, and Charley? These were our hurricanes from 2004.
It is important to put a plan into action now for your family and business. Please stay safe, use common sense, and listen to your local authorities as Hurricane Season is now upon us. The tornadoes that devastated many areas in the United States and the large amount of flooding we see in the spring should serve as a reminder that disasters can happen anytime and anywhere.
For more information hurricane preparations, visit the National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center. http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare