2019 Hurricane Preparedness Guide

By Jesmany Jomarron Esq. 

The 2018 storm season turned out to be a fairly active season with Hurricane Michael damaging much of Panama City. Experts predict another dangerous and potentially destructive hurricane season this year with about 12 to 14 named storms. The time to prepare for the 2019 hurricane season is now. If you wait until a hurricane is approaching, you will have a limited amount of time to adequately prepare. At Farrell, Patel, Jomarron & Lopez, we believe that knowing what to do before, during, and after a hurricane will help keep you and your family safe and stress-free this hurricane season. We hope you will use this brief guide to prepare early and protect your home and family this hurricane season.

Communication: During a Hurricane, it is extremely important to be able to communicate with your friends and family. It is impossible to ensure that everyone is safe without a proper method of communication. It is also important to discuss your family emergency plan ahead of time. Your family may not be together if and when disaster strikes. Fortunately, there are several options available including phone calls, text messages, and social media check-ins. As long as all of your friends and family are all using the same platform, the methods mentioned above will work just fine. This will cut down on the worry and anxiety that can only make these dangerous storms more stressful.

Emergency Supply Kits: Once a hurricane warning is declared, most of your preparations should be directed toward your home. If your community is impacted, you may lose access to basic services, such as power and water. Access to essentials like food may also be limited. To be ready, you’ll need at least three days of non-perishable food to prepare for a hurricane. Getting the right type of food is important. While chips and cookies are non-perishable, they are low in nutrition and are best eaten sparingly. Instead, you’re better off getting whole foods that are non-perishable, like canned fruits and vegetables, low-sodium soups, granola, jars of peanut butter, and crackers. Commercially canned food can be eaten without warming. Just make sure you have a manual can opener on hand. In addition to food, access to fresh drinking water is crucial. You’ll need to have a gallon of water per person for at least three days. Some people require more water depending on their age, health, and activity level. Extra water might be required for cooking. Buy the water that you need early because it can be hard to find water in stores right before a storm. In order to maintain its freshness, it is best to drink any water that is left over through the rest of the year. Then, buy some more before next season.

Vehicles and Fuel: If you own a vehicle, make sure to have it checked out to confirm that it is in good working condition. Additionally, make sure that your car has a full tank of gas and try and obtain extra fuel in the event of a shortage. Additionally, it’s a good idea to place emergency supplies and a change of clothes in the car, in case you have to evacuate quickly with your family.

Preparing Your Home for a Hurricane: Before a hurricane, it’s a good idea to protect the areas of your home that are vulnerable to flooding and water damage. One of the most effective ways to do this is by placing sandbags around the exterior of your home to help keep your property dry during a hurricane. If you have not already covered the windows in your home, now is the time to put up shutters or exterior grade plywood that is cut to fit around the glass. Another important tip is to remove or store away any items that could be swept away during high winds, including lawn furniture, plants, or trash cans should be brought inside or anchored, so they do not become projectiles during the storm. Some examples of items that should be put away include barbecue grills, umbrellas, trash cans, grills, patio furniture, and flag posts.

What to Do After Hurricane: After a hurricane, it is important to first contact family and friends to let them know you and your family are safe. You can even easily check in on facebook or any other social media platform to let distant friends and family know you are safe and well. If you had to evacuate, consider returning to your home only if local authorities have instructed you to do so. If you weathered out the storm at home, consider lending a helping hand to those in need such as neighbors, friends, and folks who may be in need of additional support after a hurricane.

Inspecting Your Home After a Hurricane: Once it is safe to go outside, one of the most important things you should do as a homeowner is inspect the structural integrity of your home. Be sure to inspect your home, garage and yard for damage, debris and anything that may need to be repaired. After inspecting your home, you might find areas in your home that have been damaged, need repair and protection for the following hurricane season. Getting your homeowner’s policy to pay for hurricane damage can be tricky. That is why it is extremely important that you remember to grab a camera or smartphone to take pictures of any damage to your home or belongings for insurance purposes.

Reach Out to Us Today for Assistance

When dealing with the aftermath of a hurricane, filing an insurance claim may not be your top priority. Unfortunately, the process is a necessary first step in rebuilding. If a large hurricane hits the Florida coast, insurance companies are going to be inundated with claims. They may not pay enough attention to yours unless you have a lawyer fighting for your claim. Although your insurance company may cover all or at least a portion of the damage, this isn’t always the case. Before you resolve your insurance dispute, consider speaking with a lawyer. An insurance claim requires a detailed analysis of your policy, the circumstances of your claim, and the law. Without legal representation, you may make costly mistakes or undervalue your claim. An experienced insurance claim lawyer can ensure that your rights are protected. Contact one of the attorneys at Farrell, Patel, Jomarron & Lopez! FPJL will aggressively represent you to ensure you get the money you are owed without any further delay by the insurance company.

 Contact our law firm today at (305) 300-3000 for a free consultation!