When Disaster Strikes
According to the Hurricane Research Division of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, 40% of all East coast hurricanes run themselves aground in Florida, while a stunning 88% of major hurricanes find landfall in the Sunshine State. Being prepared before the event is crucial, but even more so is being ready to face the clean up after the fact.
Preparing for the Aftermath
For many homeowners in coastal Florida, water damage will be the only significant need to be face. Hiring a professional restoration company to do the carpets and home tile cleaning can remove nearly all evidence of the storm. Inland towns may have more fresh water flooding, while flood clean up in Pensacola might incorporate saltwater damage. Removing standing saltwater is not as simple as wringing out a mop – in fact, a home may be considered a total loss by insurance companies if not addressed immediately.
CBS News reports that Florida consistently faces damage not only from hurricanes, but flooding as well from tropical storms. These events place Florida among the highest states for insurance premiums in the country. Flood clean up in Pensacola runs into the millions each year.
In the event of a natural disaster, Florida residents should first have a solid homeowner’s policy. Flood insurance rates vary, but according to FloridaWatchDog.org, the closer a property is to a water body, the rates are going to climb. This comes from a factor of increase risk of claims, as well as the lack of property owners who actually have home owner’s insurance.
Preparing for a flood clean up in Pensacola also involves having the right steps in place before a storm event. If a house’s foundation is below the high water line of historic flooding, ensure that items that could be damaged by rising water are stored above that line whenever possible. Have a few dollars put aside to cover any expenses your home owner’s insurance won’t cover, such as heirloom and collectibles that are not on your policy already.
Make sure your vehicles are included in your policy, because if they are not, don’t expect a settlement for damages. Insurance companies are not beneficial societies, after all.
Should your house become uninhabitable after a storm moves through, have a backup plan in place for how your family will survive. Choose a safe location on higher ground to meet should you become separated, and make sure you share each others’ phone numbers with trusted neighbors. This keep a line of communication open in case one or two family cell phones become lost or damaged during the storm.
Whatever happens, keep a clear head. If your home is properly insured, and you feel ready to deal with a storm’s aftermath, you are already in a place of solid preparation.