Living in Florida, we’re no strangers to hurricane season. If you’ve been here long enough, you know the drill: First comes a watch that most people ignore, then a warning. At that point, it’s virtually impossible to find bottled water anywhere; and filling up 438 red containers of gasoline becomes the fad du jour.
It’s frustrating on a best case scenario, and infuriating when you’re desperately trying to do last minute preparations only to realize that there are no supplies left.
While Tampa Bay has been extremely lucky in the past, hurricane Irma gave us a dose of reality. So what can you do to better prepare for next year’s season?
Get supplies now:
Not only will you bypass the panic caused by not being able to find basic necessities, such as water, tarps, flashlights, sandbags and wood panels, but you’ll also get to skip an unexpected financial hit. Buying the long list of prep items can get expensive, fast. Now that hurricane’s season’s over, start stocking up gradually. Think of items that are generally overlooked, until you need them: backup chargers for cell phones, battery operated fans, small grills. Keep everything together in an easy to find bin, so that when you need them, you’re not scrambling around trying to remember where you left them.
Review your flood insurance policy:
With all the financial problems FEMA’s been having (and considering that they’re still dealing with claims from Hurricane Katrina back in 2005), it would be sound advice to shop around for a private provider. And we’re talking specifically about flood insurance. Be aware that homeowner’s insurance typically won’t cover floods. Also make sure to do this with plenty of time, since there’s a waiting period before a new policy takes effect.
Do some spring cleaning:
The usual advice before a storm is to bring inside anything that would be a projectile during strong winds, or to trim tree branches that could cause damage to your property or your neighbors’ homes. But also think outside the box. If you lose power for a couple of days, dirty laundry’s going to pile up. Clutter will make it harder to find necessities, and will most definitely make someone in your home cranky. Take care of all of those issues while power’s still on.
Get you home evaluated:
Few things suck more than having to pay for something you don’t need. You may very well need flood insurance, or you may not. It will all depend on whether you’re in a high risk flood zone. Don’t rely on FEMA to give you the most updated information regarding their flood rate maps. National Flood Experts can evaluate your home for free (yes, for free) to see if you can be removed from the flood zone. If not, we can still help you find proper coverage from affordable providers. Contact us and see how we can help you.