Helpful Tropical Storm Cleanup TipsWhen a tropical storm or hurricane brushes by or moves through, the damage inflicted varies greatly depending on where the storm’s eye was positioned. For instance, in Tampa Bay, Hurricane Matthew was largely a non-event but on the Space Coast, it definitely wreaked havoc. Some residents were left to deal with water damaged carpet, flooded vehicles, downed trees and fences, damaged roofs, and much more.
For many people, when a terrible storm hits, it’s the aftermath that is the worst. Debris, flood waters, power outages, broken tree limbs, shattered glass, piles of snow— these are all dangerous risks once a hurricane, tornado, or nor’easter makes its way through a town or community. —This Old House.comLikewise, Hurricane Hermine brought high wind gusts to the central west coast of Florida, eventually crossing near the panhandle over to the east coast. The worst location is on the east side of these tropical system events because that’s where the heaviest conditions are created. It’s better to be positioned on the west side of these storms, well to the west, where effects are minimal. Here are some more helpful tropical storm cleanup tips:
- Document any damage. After the storm passes and weather conditions normalize, it’s time to document all the damage. Whether it’s your home, business, property, vehicle, or anything else, be sure to take plenty of pictures. It’s a good idea to (rename pictures with object descriptions, location, date, and time for insurance purposes.
- Assess the amount of work. As you are going through the property and taking pictures, note what work needs to be done. For instance, you should create a note or list with the damage (such as downed fence) as well as what you can do on your own and which will require hiring a service.
- Contact your utility companies. Even if you don’t lose power and have running water, it’s still a good idea to contact your utility providers if there is any damage to your property. For instance, downed trees might fall on or near power lines or the uprooted root ball could cause pipe damage.
- Mitigate any more possible damage. One of the biggest mistakes homeowners and business owners make is not mitigating further damage. For instance, if there is any flooding into your property, you have a duty to prevent any more damage from occurring.
- File all of your insurance claims. When you’ve documented the scenes with pictures and written notes, you can move forward with filing your insurance claims. Speak with your agent to work through the details and be sure to read your policy carefully.