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Preparing for Hurricane Dorian

Written by admin on August 28, 2019 at 3:39 PM.

Every year, it seems as if some part of our beautiful state gets hit by a major hurricane. In the average year, the US suffers over $28 billion in hurricane damage, with more than half of that occurring in the state of Florida. And even greater than the financial costs are the potential costs in human life.

As the saying goes, “failing to prepare is preparing to fail”. Don’t let your family or business face hurricane Dorian unprepared. Follow our hurricane prep tips, and you can weather this storm safely.

Where and When?

The National Weather Service projects that hurricane Dorian will make landfall Monday morning along the east coast of Florida on September 2 (Labor Day). At this time, it is still a tropical storm, but it is projected to be a category 4 when it makes landfall. This means that wind speeds are projected to be between 85 mph and 115 mph.

At this time, the storm is most likely to hit North Central Florida, although these projections do have a wide level of uncertainty. It could potentially hit as far north as South Carolina, or as far south as the Florida Keys. If you live anywhere in the path of this storm, prepare for the worst, and follow any evacuation orders from local authorities.

Hurricane Prep Tips

At this time, Floridians can expect to feel the effects of hurricane Dorian into Labor Day weekend. What does this mean for your plans?

It’s hurricane prep time.

hurricane dorian

Prepare Emergency Supplies

Many people only put together a package of food and water when preparing for a storm, but neglect to plan for other aspects of the emergency. Your local grocery store is liable to be out of food for a while, so have enough non-perishable food for everyone in your household to eat for a week. You’ll also want to budget one gallon of water per person, per day, both for drinking and for sanitation.

However, hurricane prep goes much further than that. You’ll also want to plan for being without power. For these reasons, flashlights are a must. So is a hand-crank radio for listening to the news. You can’t count on your cell phone’s battery to last through an indefinite power outage.

You’ll also want to have a wrench for shutting off your own utilities. If the worst should happen and your home suffers from serious damage, you’ll need to be able to shut off water pipes to avoid further damage.

If you can manage it, an emergency generator is also a good idea. Keep it at least ten feet from any doors and windows, to avoid carbon monoxide gas getting into your house. We’ve written more about hurricane prep in the past.

Supply Checklist:

– At least one week’s worth of non-perishable food for your household (including pets)

– A gallon of water per person, per day for drinking and sanitation

– Flashlights and batteries to last at least a week

– Hand crank radio to stay up to date on the latest hurricane news

– First aid kit

– Week supply of any required medications 

– Copies of important documents

Make Family Plans Ahead of Time

Of course, everyday life doesn’t always stop when a hurricane is coming in. And sometimes, the weather forecasters are wrong; a storm can hit further north or south than expected, or the storm surge can move further inland than forecasted.

In the case of these unexpected events, it’s important to have a contingency plan for your family. You’ll want to set a designated meeting point, so everyone knows where to meet up if worse comes to worst. You should also make sure that everyone in your family knows where the nearest hurricane shelter is. This is especially important for teenagers, who are likely to be out and about when hurricane Dorian hits.

Plan ahead for evacuation orders, and consider the needs of all your family members. If anyone has a disability or a chronic illness that requires medication, you’ll need to take that into account. Pets are also a concern. The last thing you want to worry about in an emergency evacuation is needing to make last-minute plans for getting the family cat out.

Prepare Your Property

There are two main dangers from a hurricane: flooding and high winds. If you live in a flood zone, move electronics and important documents to the most elevated area of your house to keep them safe. If you need to evacuate, make sure your utilities and appliances are unplugged and turned off. Powered appliances can cause a fire if flooding causes a short-circuit, and an extinguished pilot light can leak gas, creating a fire hazard.

Wind generally damages your house by knocking trees or branches into the windows. If you have any dead trees on your property, or any loose branches or debris lying around, get them removed as soon as possible to alleviate this risk. If you’re in the path of the storm, it’s also a good idea to board up your windows to prevent serious damage from flying debris.

hurricane prep

Take Lots of Pictures

Before you leave, take as many pictures as you can. This applies both to your home and your business. Remember, the more documentation you have, the easier it will be to prove later on that your property was damaged by the storm, and didn’t already look that way.

The most important things to photograph are the floors and walls in the first story. In the event of flood damage, these photos can confirm the original condition of the structure. It’s also important to photograph windows, gutters, and your roof, which are the areas of a building most commonly damaged by high winds. If you have any outbuildings, like a detached garage or tool shed, take pictures of those as well. Small structures may be destroyed altogether by a storm. The same goes for fences.

What if I Need to File an Insurance Claim?

If your home or business ends up being damaged, call your insurance company as soon as possible after hurricane Dorian passes. The sooner you file your claim, the sooner you can be reimbursed for damages. 

If you need help from a public adjuster, contact Stellar Adjusting after filing your claim, or call us at 305-570-3519. We can help you through the claims process, and make sure you get the money you’re owed.

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Worked with Stellar on a project involving a kitchen flood. They were always there to help & answer all the questions I had – and they reached a fair settlement with my insurance for me. I probably wouldn’t have gotten half of what I did without them! I’d easily recommend them to anyone needing a Public Adjuster.

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