Preparing for a Florida Hurricane During the Covid-19 Pandemic

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We’ve been battered by daily reports of Covid-19 cases surging in Florida, so thinking about the possibility of a hurricane hitting our state and preparing for that possibility seems like a daunting task. However, preparation is key to your family’s safety, and being proactive now can make a big difference during and after the storm.

So, while you have time to prepare, please do so. In this blog post, we’re going to cover five steps you should take to prepare for Florida hurricanes: Have an Emergency Safety Plan, Purchase Emergency Supplies, Make Sure Your Insurance Coverage is Adequate, Take Pictures of Your Home and Personal Property, and Get Help from an Experienced Orlando Hurricane Damage Attorney.
 

Have an Emergency Safety Plan

Your family’s safety comes before everything else, so your first step in preparing for a Florida hurricane should be to have an emergency safety plan that is shared with all members of your family. The plan should include:

  • How you are going to receive emergency alerts and storm warnings
  • An evacuation plan in accordance with Florida’s Division of Emergency Managements’ guidelines
  • A plan for communicating with each other
  • A designated meeting place in case you are separated during the storm or your home isn’t safe

 

Purchase Emergency Supplies

Now is the time to purchase or restock your emergency supplies. If you wait until a hurricane is nearing the Florida coast, all of the stores in the Orlando area will be out of necessary supplies and Amazon will not be delivering.

Keep in mind that you should be prepared for loss of power and closed stores and banks. Emergency planners recommend having 3 gallons of water per person in your household and enough non-perishable food to last for at least 3 days. In addition, you should have flashlights and replacement batteries, portable cell phone chargers, a battery-powered radio, first aid supplies, personal hygiene items, basic tools and rain gear.
 

Make Sure Your Florida Homeowners Insurance Coverage Is Adequate

After your home has been damaged by a hurricane is not the time to be reviewing your insurance policy to see what is covered. Do it now, and make sure you understand what your policy covers and that you have adequate coverage for hurricane damage.

The insurance claim attorneys at Malik Law suggest you consider these key questions as you review your policy:

  • Do you have adequate coverage, given the present value of your home and belongings? Is it time to increase your level of coverage?
  • Does your insurance policy pay replacement cost or actual cash value? Policyholders are often upset to discover that the actual cash value to repair their roof, for example, is substantially less than what the repair costs them.
  • Do you have a hurricane deductible or percentage you must pay before your policy covers any hurricane damage? Is the deductible amount feasible or should you consider changing it?
  • Are any types of wind or water damage excluded? Keep in mind that damage from water that has been on the ground before it enters your home is considered flood damage and is not covered by a typical Florida homeowners’ insurance policy.
  • Do you need a flood insurance policy to cover possible damage from rising water during or after a storm? Many people who are not required to have flood insurance still need it to protect their homes from flooding.
  • Should you have special coverage for expensive items (e.g., works of art, high-priced electronic equipment) in your home? Your homeowner’s policy may not cover your costs to replace these items.

It’s a good idea to call your insurance agent if you have questions about your policy or want to make changes to it. If you’re not satisfied with your insurance company, find a company and policy that works better for you. If you have concerns about your policy or coverage, please feel free to give us a call at Malik Law and talk with an experienced Florida insurance claim attorney.
 

Take Pictures of Your Florida Home and Personal Property

When a home is damaged by a storm, insurance providers and assessors usually want pictures of the damage. However, if they have nothing to compare with those photos, understanding the complete extent of damage may not be possible. That’s why we suggest taking pictures of the exterior and interior of your home and your major possessions before any damage occurs.

A written inventory of items, purchase dates, and prices to accompany the pictures is also very helpful in case your home is damaged and you need to submit a hurricane damage insurance claim.
 

Get Help from an Experienced Orlando Hurricane Damage Attorney

Hopefully, we won’t have to deal with hurricane damage during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, predictions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and common sense tell us that we need to be prepared for tropical storms in the near future. If your property is damaged during one of these storms, and you have questions or concerns about filing an insurance claim, please don’t hesitate to call the experienced Florida hurricane damage attorneys of Malik Law. We are available 24/7 to answer your questions and respond to your concerns.

We want to help you be as prepared as possible for the next major storm and obtain fair payment for any damage that might occur.

 

Sources:

Mazzel, P. (2020, May 24). What happens if a hurricane hits during the pandemic? The New York Times.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/24/us/hurricane-pandemic-coronavirus-florida.html

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. U.S. Department of Commerce. (2020, May 21). Busy Atlantic hurricane season predicted for 2020.
https://www.noaa.gov/media-release/busy-atlantic-hurricane-season-predicted-for-2020

Imran Malik
Imran Malik
Imran Malik, rated AV® Preeminent, by Martindale-Hubbell, is the founding member of Malik Law P.A. An AV® Rating signifies that a lawyer has reached the heights of professional excellence. He has practiced law for a number of years, and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity by fellow attorneys in his area of practice. Martindale-Hubbell is the oldest and most trusted lawyer information service in America.