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Hurricane Irma Preparation Guide

Hurricane Harvey appears to have simply been a warning to the State of Florida.  The approaching storm, Hurricane Irma, is being advertised as the most dangerous wind storm on record in United States history.  Wherever this storm makes landfall it will take lives and decimate property, so please take emergency measures.  Our firm is sending our own families and pets North of Florida to avoid what appears to be imminent danger to life.

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  • Install hurricane shutters, board up window and doors.  Move outdoor items such as patio furniture and potted plants as those items can easily become flying debris.
  • Video tape your property, walk around exterior and go room by room within the home.  It is imperative that you have documentation of your property BEFEORE the storm because there may be nothing left to see when the insurance company inspects after the storm.
  • Get a copy of your insurance policy and put those documents with your birth certificates and other important documents

On April 24, 1992, Hurricane Andrew hit South Florida shortly before 5AM. With winds of more than 140 mph and gusts upward of 175 mph, devastating damage was inevitable. In the hours following the storm, many residents found themselves homeless and unemployed. Nearly 90% of the businesses found in South Dade suffered significant damage or were destroyed. Many of the impacted businesses were small businesses that did not carry enough insurance to cover damage and business interruption. Due to this and a combination of other factors, small businesses have a rough time recovering after disasters like hurricanes. Because of the long-lasting and sometimes terminal effect hurricanes can have on businesses, particularly small businesses, it pays to have a hurricane response plan.

A hurricane response plan will benefit your business through:

  • Expediting recovery
  • Employee safety
  • Reduced economic loss
  • Property protection
  • Proactive decision making before a disaster

CATEGORY 4, Winds of 131-155mph – Shrubs’ and trees and signs blown down. Extensive damage to roofing materials windows and doors. Total destruction of roofs on small residences and mobile homes. Flooding and floating debris.

CATEGORY 5 Winds greater than 155 mph: The most deadly and destructive category. Complete roof failures and destruction of residences and industrial buildings. Shattering of glass in windows and doors. Storm surges and widespread flooding. Regardless of the category’ hurricanes can cause coastal and inland dangers. High tides and flash floods brought on by storm surge are considered likely coastal hazards. Ongoing rainfall and runoff from higher ground causing flooding in lower lying areas is an example of an inland hazard. In addition, areas of high ground often experience damage due to hurricane winds. Building debris is carried by the wind throughout the affected area.

According to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, over 40% of all companies that experience a disaster NEVER reopen. Over 25% of the remaining companies close within two years of the damage event.

You should complete the following checklist when preparing your business emergency disaster and recovery plan:

  • Review property insurance with your insurance agent to discuss adequate hazard’ flood and business interruption insurance
  • Establish written hurricane procedures for protecting business property and its contents
  • If necessary train employees to implement hurricane procedures
  • Specify a timeline for when the hurricane procedures will be implemented
  • Determine what emergency equipment and supplies are necessary’ (heavy plastic sheeting’ duct tape’ masking tape’ sandbags’ emergency generator’ storm shutters’ chain saw’ plywood’ and hand tools)
  • Designate an individual and an alternate who will coordinate the implementation of the hurricane procedures

Large hurricane deductibles and depreciation will be applied and what would normally appear to be a reasonable insurance settlement will be drastically reduced and you will be left with the balance of your bills. Repair bills can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and storms of these magnitude bankrupt homeowners. If you wait to take what the insurance company is going to give you and it is not a sufficient amount for your recovery it could potentially put you to the back of the line for months to years.

Residential Preparedness

Water – at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days

Food – at least enough for 3 to 7 days

  • Non perishable packaged or canned food/juices
  • Food for infants or the elderly
  • Snack foods
  • Non-electric can opener
  • Cooking tools/fuel
  • Paper plates/utensils

Blankets/Pillows/Etc.

Clothing

  • Rain gear
  • Sturdy Shoes
  • Seasonal clothing

First Aid Kit / Medicines / Prescription Drugs

Specialty Items for babies and elderly

Toiletries

Moist Wipes/Hand Sanitizer

Flashlights/Batteries

Radio – Battery operated and NOAA weather radio

Cash – Banks and ATMS will not be open

Keys

Toys, Books, Games

Important Documents stores in weatherproof containers

  • Insurance, medical records, birth certificates, bank account information, social security card
  • Document all property within and outside the home prior to departure and email out or upload to a cloud based system.

Tools – keep a set with you during the storm

Full Gas Tank in Vehicles

Pet Care

  • Proper ID
  • Ample food supply and water
  • Carrier or cage, dog leashes, collars

https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes

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The Benefits of Hiring a Public Adjuster After a Hurricane:

  • Insurance Claims Expertise
  • Ensure a Fair Claim
  • Protect Your Rights as a Homeowner
  • Expedient Settlement of Your Claim
  • Time Savings

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