When a hurricane hits, the damage can be devastating. Even if you’re prepared and have an evacuation plan, the storm can catch you off guard and leave your home uninhabitable for some time.
Thankfully, there are precautions you can take ahead of time to make recovering from a hurricane much easier. Hurricanes are extremely unpredictable and very difficult to predict prior to their arrival which is why it’s important to be as well-prepared as possible. Here’s what you should know about the areas that were hit the hardest by Hurricane Ian and what you should do to prepare for a hurricane in the future.
The Damage, Where Hurricane Ian Hit the Hardest
Hurricane Ian tore through Central Florida, causing widespread damage and flooding the area. Orange County including the city of Orlando was heavily damaged by the storm. Heavy damage also occurred in Jacksonville, and Fort Meyers. Naples and Sarasota were also damaged by flooding and an abundance of fallen trees.
Sanibel Island was effectively cut off from the mainland after the hurricane virtually demolished the causeway that connected it with the rest of Florida. Nearly 6,700 people reside on the island, many of which were evacuated and given assistance to get to the mainland by local law enforcement. The exact number and condition of the people who did not choose to evacuate are unknown.
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Tips to Follow When a Hurricane Is Coming Your Way
While the damage level inflicted by Hurricane Ian is practically historic, it won’t be the last hurricane of such magnitude. The following tips can help you and your family prepare for future hurricanes and minimize damage to your homes.
Plan Your Evacuation Route
If a hurricane is headed in your direction, it’s important to have an evacuation plan in place so you can get out of the storm’s path without wasting too much time. When you plan your evacuation route, you need to think about how far you’re willing to go, how long you’re willing to drive, and where you’d like to go.
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Check Your Home for Weak Points
Before the hurricane even arrives, you should check your house for weak points so you know which areas may have to be reinforced. If you have an older house, you may want to check the roof for leaks and the foundation to make sure it’s not shifting.
If you’ve got time, you can also check the power lines coming into your home to ensure they aren’t going to fall down during the storm. If you notice any leaks, loose shingles, shifting doors or windows, or other problems, you can fix them before the storm and make your home that much stronger. By making repairs and reinforcing your home proactively, you can avoid being blamed by the insurance company for having preexisting leaks causing water damage to the house.
Install Hurricane Shutters
Hurricane shutters offer a relatively inexpensive way to protect your windows from high-speed wind that can break windows and cause leaks. They’re typically made of wood or metal and attach to your windows, blocking out the wind. Some shutters can be purchased with a remote control so you can open and close them from the inside whenever you need to let in natural light.
If you have windows that face the direction of the hurricane, you should absolutely purchase and install hurricane shutters before the storm hits. These shutters prevent the glass from shattering and flying around the room and can keep water from getting inside the house. It’s best to install hurricane shutters as soon as there has been a hurricane announcement in your area.
Install Strong Doors and Windows
If the doors and windows of your house are old, they may not be able to stand up to the pressure of a hurricane. If you have old wooden doors and windows, you can reinforce them.
You may also want to consider replacing old windows with some that are more resistant to high winds. You should also make sure to lock all of the doors in your house before the hurricane hits. This helps keep the wind from blowing them open and letting water into the rooms behind them.
Keep Supplies on You
If you’re evacuating your home before the hurricane hits, you don’t want to be burdened by large suitcases or boxes full of supplies. Instead, try to keep things as light as possible so you can evacuate in a matter of hours or less.
Keep supplies on you and in your car so you can grab them quickly before heading to higher ground and away from the hurricane. Some supplies you may want to keep on you include things like flashlights, water, first aid kits, and food.
Document the Damage Before and After the Storm
Finally, before the hurricane even hits, you should start documenting the condition of your home and the surrounding area. You can do this by taking pictures with your phone and saving the photos on the cloud in case anything happens to your phone during the storm.
After the storm, you can also write down an outline of the damage and what repairs are needed to fix it along with quotes from local contractors. This way, when the storm clears and it’s time to file a claim, you’ll have all of the information you need to make a strong case.
Hurricanes are destructive and can cause extensive damage to your home regardless of how well you prepare for them beforehand. If you want to minimize the impact that a hurricane has on your home, you need to start preparing as soon as the hurricane season begins.
While these tips will help you prepare and avoid some damage, you should always file a claim with your insurance company and document the damage to your property. It’s best to have a hurricane damage claim lawyer to help you make sure you get appropriately compensated by your insurance company.
Struggling with a Hurricane Damage Claim After Hurricane Ian? The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine Can Help.
Our injury attorneys assist people in Florida who have been affected by the ravages of Hurricane Ian. We can help you navigate the claims process and keep your insurance company in check while fighting for fair compensation on your behalf.
Call the Law Firm of Anidjar & Levine at 1-888-816-9520 for a free consultation.
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