Hurricane season is 1 of the 4 seasons we have in Florida
(Snow bird season, Love Bug Season, Hurricane Season, & Beach Season)
It’s not always picture perfect sunrises to enjoy
If you are living in Florida, maybe somewhere along the East coast or on the Gulf Coast; you are well aware that Hurricane Season starts in June and ends in November. You pay a little more attention to the weather and any updates from the tropics. You know that in August and September the Atlantic water temperature heats up and new storm systems will start to appear more frequently. If something pops up…you want to know what are they forecasting? Is it tracking towards Florida or will it stay in the Caribbean and hit the Gulf? Where is the cone headed towards? As a Brevard County resident; I know we have been very lucky in regards to the storms coming through compared to other parts of the state and country. That does not mean we have been unscathed by storm damage and that we should not be prepared just in case.
Charley, Ivan, Frances and Jeanne
In 2005, we had 4 hurricanes come through August and September…Charley, Ivan, Frances and Jeanne…and they left a path of destruction…There seemed to be blue tarps were on rooftops in every neighborhood throughout Brevard County. Either you or someone you knew had sustained some type of damage from these storms. Some was minor, some lost everything. My Mother-in-laws home sustained water damage from flooding and from roof damage, so I saw first hand what a home looks like in the aftermath of a hurricane. We were down the day after the storm came through (pretty sure it was either Frances or Jeanne). The front yard still had knee deep water in it. You can see the water lines on drywall inside the home. The sheetrock on the ceiling had come down in a lot of places and the wet insulation was just hanging from the rafters. It was a mess. Couches, beds, clothing, carpet, and a lot more were ruined. We hauled a lot of stuff to the curb the next few days.
Brevard County was very lucky with Hurricane Matthew
Fast forward to October 2016…here comes Matthew…looks like we were going to take the storm head on. They were saying Port Canaveral was where it was going to make landfall. Panic strikes…we get sandbags, extra propane tanks for the grill, bottled water, canned goods, etc. We are getting the home boarded up and preparing to evacuate. Crazy enough, during all this prep…our office still had a Tuesday morning Thrive meeting…This weeks special guest was a 3rd party insurance claims adjuster. He come in and provide some great suggestions on preparing for a storm (or any other catastrophe that could affect your home). He said it is important to have detailed records on everything you own just in case you have to provide proof of loss. It is as simple as taking a video walk through of your home. He did suggest a little more detail if you have the time (Like any time other than right before a storm hits your area). The beauty of this suggestion is, no matter where you live; you should do this.
Start at the front of your home and start taking pictures. Lots of pictures of all your stuff. Your couch, your chairs, your lamps and table…Everything. For your electronics, take a picture of the white sticker that contains the serial and model number. (Every TV, speaker, laptop, desktop, etc) Don’t forget your appliances. Take your time and go through every room. Open the closets and take pictures of your linens. Open cabinets and take pictures of your dishes, china, silverware and pots & pans. Don’t forget your clothes, shoes, hats, purses and jewelry. Remember your seasonal clothing. Go through your garage or shed and get all the lawn equipment, tools and other outdoor items. Get your surfboard, kayaks and SUPS. You cannot take to many photos. Also scan a copy of your insurance policy so you know who to contact.
(On the back of most electrical devices or appliances is a sticker similar to this. Take a photo of it and the front of the electronic device, appliance, etc for your records)
You will create a file on your computer to keep all these pictures. I would also recommend storing a copy online because if your home has been damaged, something could have happened to your computer. I personally use Google Drive and Dropbox. They both offer free storage. If you have a Gmail account, you already have a Google Drive account. I would recommend opening up a dropbox account just for this info. The link below will take you to dropbox to set up an account.
If you need some help setting this up, give me a call or send me an email.321.795.1854 or Eric@EricLarkin.com
Sure, the hurricane season is a good reminder to have a plan like this in place. Really, everybody; no matter where you live should work on a digital record of everything you own. Pick a day and schedule the time to do this. Just taking the photos will take some time to do it right. It will also take some time to get these files copied or transferred to your on-line storage site (AKA the cloud)
Hopefully, you will never need these pictures. But if something bad does happen to your home, at least you will have some records for your insurance company.