With its subtropical, coastal location, amazing beaches, and sunny weather, Florida is one of the most desirable places to live in the United States. However, the Sunshine State’s biggest drawback is its vulnerability to hurricanes. As the recent Hurricane Nichole has shown us, Florida’s hurricane season can extend all the way into November, making it important for homeowners to understand what to do after going through a hurricane.
At NSI Insurance, we want to help ensure that Florida homeowners are prepared if a hurricane passes through their communities. Read on to learn more about what to do after a hurricane in Florida, and consider bookmarking this checklist for future reference.
What to Do After a Hurricane in Florida
Living in Florida means living with the reality that hurricanes are a major risk for about half of the year. While this shouldn’t sway you from living in the Sunshine State, it makes it important for all Florida residents to understand what steps to take after a hurricane. Here’s what you should do in the hours, days, and weeks after a hurricane in Florida.
What to do immediately after a hurricane
In the immediate aftermath of a hurricane, it’s important to prioritize the safety of yourself and your family.
Here’s what to do immediately after a storm:
● If you were forced to evacuate, do not return home until local authorities say it is safe to do so.
● Stay indoors until the hurricane has completely passed.
● When it is safe to do so, assess the conditions of your home and its immediate surroundings.
● Contact friends and family members that aren’t with you to ensure they are safe.
● Stay in a safe location even after the storm has passed as there may still be hazards outdoors like gas leaks or fallen power lines.
● Continue to follow the advice of local emergency officials.
● Avoid using tap water until notified that it is safe as it may be contaminated.
● Avoid using gas-powered tools or machinery.
● Do not enter flood waters.
● Avoid using candles.
What to do in the days and weeks following a hurricane
Even after the storm passes, it’s important to understand that there are still dangers present, and you may have to deal with ongoing issues like power outages. Here’s what to do in the days following a hurricane:
● If you absolutely need to travel somewhere, check for road closures and blockages.
● Be prepared to go without power for several days, or in some cases, weeks.
● Prioritize food safety, and avoid eating perishable foods that have not been adequately stored.
● Document damages to your home and belongings by taking pictures and taking note of any damaged items.
● Contact your insurance company to report any damage and begin the claim process.
● Evacuate your home if conditions are dangerous.
● Contact FEMA (1-800-621-FEMA or register online) if there is a federal Presidential Disaster Declaration and you need assistance.
● Only hire licensed, experienced professionals to take care of any necessary repairs.
● If making any small repairs on your own, make sure to use proper safety equipment.
● Stay hydrated, take breaks from repairs when needed, keep things sanitary, and get plenty of rest.
● Be wary of stray animals as they may be agitated due to stress caused by the hurricane.
● Properly dispose of trash and debris. Check with local officials for cleanup instructions.
● Prevent mold and mildew growth by getting rid of standing water, removing wet carpet and drywall, disposing of wet furniture, and airing flooded indoor areas.
Recovering from a Hurricane in Florida
Depending on the extent of the damage, recovering from a hurricane in Florida can take days, weeks, or even months. You should contact your insurance companies once it is safe to do so to report damages and begin the claim process. This will get the ball rolling so that you can start repairing or rebuilding your home as quickly as possible.
Be sure to document any and all damage to ensure you receive as much money as you deserve, and when working with local contractors, make sure to read reviews, ask friends and family members for recommendations, and watch out for potential scams.
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Hurricanes can be devastating, and given the increased risk of storms that Florida residents face, it’s necessary to understand what steps to take after a hurricane to stay safe and start the recovery process.
At NSI Insurance, we have over 20 years serving residents in Miami and surrounding areas. We understand how stressful it can be to go through a hurricane, and we pride ourselves on treating our customers like family. We provide the coverage and support Florida homeowners need to recover from natural disasters like hurricanes. If you're thinking it's time to switch your insurance company, contact our team at NSI Insurance for a free quote.