Hurricanes: dangerous and destructive, and a way of life for us Floridians. If you are a full-time Florida resident (or anywhere else along Hurricane Alley, for that matter), then understanding how to stay safe after a hurricane is just as safe as understanding how to stay safe during a hurricane. After high winds, rains, flooding, and all of the other chaos that comes with these powerful weather events, a lot can change — soil can erode under roads and sidewalks, power lines can be damaged, sewage systems can back up, and homes can suffer water damage leading to dangerous mold, to name just a few of the hazards that you may need to navigate.
The following are just a few ways that you can stay safe after a hurricane. If you are planning to file an insurance claim, contact 1-800-Injured as soon as possible to be connected with an experienced hurricane attorney who can help you through your case. You deserve more money from a claim than the insurance company will be willing to pay, and with the help of an attorney, you can work towards the payout that you deserve.
Ensure Your Environment Is Safe
Hurricanes bring high winds and high rains, both of which are powerful destructive forces and can cause serious structural damage. Make sure that you inspect the structural integrity of your home and any outbuildings such as sheds, your garage, pool houses, or carports. Sometimes the damage is obvious, such as a tree that has fallen onto your shed, but there are plenty of times when it may require a more extensive inspection.
If the corner of your foundation is eroded due to high rains, your home may not show signs that there is a structural problem until you take a closer look. Florida is known for getting sinkholes, which are just one way that groundwater can erode and create serious dangers for anyone in the vicinity. If you think that there is something strange happening on your property, contact a professional inspector that can give you a better idea of the situation as soon as possible.
Inspect And Clean Your Home From Damages
After a hurricane, it can feel like a natural reaction to want to begin cleaning immediately and start getting your life back to “normal,” which is absolutely necessary. However, make sure that you document every single damage before cleaning it, and use as much video and photographic evidence as is possible. If you do not have evidence of the damages that you are claiming with an insurance company, they will have no reason to believe your claim and will not cover it.
Make sure that you and your family or friends who are helping to clean all know that every single piece of damage must be documented before cleaning it. In addition to photos, write a note about every piece of damage that explains the situation with more context. Although a picture tells a lot of the story, you will need to be able to provide an explanation to the insurance company, and if you are dealing with an enormous number of damaged areas in your home it will be difficult to remember every detail on your own.
If Your House Is Damaged Contact An Attorney
One of the most important things that you should know beyond the actual steps to stay safe is that finding a hurricane attorney can be a significant benefit for you. Insurance companies that cover hurricanes have spent years honing their abilities to limit settlement and payment amounts, and your claim will be no different. Remember that insurance companies stay in business by holding onto their money, NOT by paying claimants the total amount that they deserve.
When you have a hurricane attorney covering your case, you can focus on the most important things for your own life, such as handling repairs, working with contractors who may need to come in and perform major tasks such as mold cleaning or structural repairs, and getting back to normal. Trying to handle an insurance claim at the same time is an easy way to miss important information, and allow the insurance company to settle your claim for far less than you deserve.
Use Caution On The Streets
As with your own property, the high rains and winds may have caused significant damages to the roads and public areas. Again, there is an increased risk of things like sinkholes on sidewalks and roadways just as there is a risk on your own property because the erosive power of water combined with loose or soluble material in the ground such as sand or salts can be a recipe for disaster.
In addition to sinkholes and potential structural issues, be mindful of things like downed power lines, closed roadways due to flooding, and debris in the streets (especially debris you may not be able to see because it is hidden underwater). Pay attention to road signs, and NEVER ignore road closures or detours if you are hoping to avoid catastrophe.
Call 1-800-Injured Today
1-800-injured is an attorney and medical referral service. If you have been hurt during or after a hurricane, especially in a situation where it was not an issue that you caused yourself, you will benefit greatly from partnering with a personal injury lawyer or a hurricane lawyer (depending on the circumstances). In order to understand the type of lawyer for your situation, and to be connected with them as soon as possible, you can take advantage of the 1-800-Injured referral service.
During the early days of trying to understand the damages that you have endured and what you need to do next in order to get your life back on track, the last thing you will want to do is try to search for an attorney who is available and willing to take your case. Instead of taking on that additional legwork, we can connect you with an attorney so that you can keep working on moving forward from this destructive storm.