Well, it’s that time of year again: time to think about hurricane season.
In 2016, we had the effects of Hurricane Matthew, and in 2017, we had the effects of Hurricane Irma. What will 2018 be like?
The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season started on June 1, 2018 and will end Nov. 30, 2018. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center states the Atlantic could see an above-normal hurricane season, with as many as 10 to 16 named storms possible, and potentially up to four becoming major hurricanes.
As we start to prepare for the hurricane season, we are all used to getting plenty of water, food, gas, etc. However, are you prepared from an insurance perspective?
If you own a home, you most likely have a regular homeowner’s insurance policy. If a pipe breaks in your home, you are most likely covered for all but your deductible. However, if you have rising water due to a storm, your insurance policy, most likely, will not cover this. As a result, I highly recommend purchasing a flood policy for your home, whether or not your local government says you are in a flood zone. As the owner of PuroClean Emergency Services, most of the storm floods I have experienced, the building owner said, “This has never happened to me before,” or “This has never happened in this neighborhood before.” It is important to know that if you have a flood policy, it still might not cover all the costs associated with a flood. However, it will cover a good portion. This is something you should discuss with your insurance agent. Flood insurance is very inexpensive, and I would call this a great safety measure.
Other factors to consider
In addition, if your home or business is flooded from a storm, I would not recommend trying to take care of the damage yourself. Call a professional restoration company that works with insurance companies and knows the proper ways to make sure your insurance company is taking good care of you. Do not take a fast payout offer, as it is usually lower than what it would cost to properly restore a property.
Although water losses are assigned a category of 1, 2, 3 and sometimes 4 (not to be mixed up with the category of a hurricane), water coming in from the outside is always at least a 3 or a 4. This is because the water coming in the house from outside could contain pesticides, animal urine, automobile oils and gases and other unknown ingredients. Anything this water touches should be discarded, except for structural items that should be disinfected and dried out as soon as possible.
Another important thing to know is that if FEMA is involved and your flood has been sitting there long enough to cause mold, FEMA will not cover mold-related activities. It is important to discuss this with your restoration company at the time of inspection, so if there are any additional charges, you know what they are.
Lastly, now is a good time to look at the outside of your property for dead trees. Go outside and look up. If there is a tree with no green on it, you may want to have it checked and removed before the wind puts it on your roof.
Wayne Terry is the owner of PuroClean Emergency Services in Jacksonville. For more information about his restoration company visit http://www.purocleanofjax or call 904-573-3566.