What to Do Immediately Following a Hurricane
The moments immediately following a hurricane can be disorientating, regardless of whether you rode the storm out at home or took cover at a nearby shelter. Nevertheless, the steps people take in the immediate aftermath can prove critical for their safety and the security of their homes. Below, our Daytona Beach property damage lawyers offer the following recommendations.
Avoid Driving if Possible
Even as a hurricane pulls away, rain can continue to fall very hard, leading to flooding. It is best to stay off the roads until the governmental authorities tell you it is safe to drive. This might mean staying at your shelter a little longer than you had planned.
Also stay put if you are home. This is one reason you should have some food and water stored away so you can wait until floodwaters recede before heading out to the grocery store.
You might need to find a shelter following a storm. You can text your zip code and SHELTER to 43362, and the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) will point you in the direction of the nearest one.
Survey Your Property—Carefully
If there is no flooding, then you can go out and check on the damage to your property. We advise extreme caution. You don’t know if a tree or powerline has fallen over or is on the verge of toppling. You should let someone know that you are going outside to look for damage.
Be careful of wild animals that might be drawn to your property in the aftermath of a storm. Snakes and other vermin tend to come out along with floodwaters. Take a rake with you as you canvass your property so you can pick up any snakes you might come across.
Report Downed Power Lines
Avoid going near them and call the electrical company. They can come address the situation. Even if a powerline is on the ground, it could be live.
Use Flashlights, Not Candles
Candles can potentially ignite fires, especially if there is a gas leak, so it is best to use flashlights for illumination at night. Get a battery operated flashlight and load up on batteries, because you don’t know when power will be restored.
Use a Generator Properly
Never set up a generator inside your home or garage, and make sure that it is far enough away from your home so that the fumes do not get inside. Too many people are injured by carbon monoxide poisoning each year.
Cover Holes in the Roof or Walls
If the storm blew a hole in your ceiling, you will want to cover it as soon as it is safe to do so. Don’t climb onto the roof in the howling wind, but you can put a tarp when things have calmed down.
Check in On Family
Make sure everyone is safe and sound. You should have a cell phone charged especially for the event that the electricity is out. If someone is missing, you should call the police.
Let Us Help You Untangle Property Damage Claims
Filing a hurricane insurance claim following a storm is a confusing process. Many insurers reject valid claims, while others drag their heels. We can help negotiate a favorable settlement. Contact us today at Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A. to schedule a free consultation.