5 Things We Learned From Hurricane Matthew

When we were helping the St. Augustine community rebuild after Hurricane Matthew, we saw the damage that was done to the whole city. Homes washed away, cars destroyed, hundreds of thousands in damage done to buildings. We realized it’s important for our community to be more prepared for the next hurricane. Here are some tips to be protected against serious harm coming to you, your family and your property.

 

Be Prepared BEFORE Hurricane Season

One of the most common issues people have is waiting too long to gather supplies, which can put them in real trouble when the storm hits. Often when a hurricane is closing in, stores will run out of supplies and many people are out of luck when trying to buy generators, flashlights, water—even gasoline. If you’re in an evacuation area and the gas runs out in the nearby stations, you could be at serious risk. It’s important to enter hurricane season prepared for the worst, because hurricanes can be unpredictable and you don’t want to be left scrambling for supplies when it’s too late.

 

Protect Your Home

Take preventative measures to protect your home. If your roof has damaged shingles, have them fixed. If there are termites in your walls, take care of it. You can’t afford to have a weakened foundation when the wind and rain starts pounding your home. When you know the storm is headed your way, board up windows properly, retrofit your garage door with horizontal wooden braces and stronger hinges/supports if necessary, fortify the roof, etc.

 

INSURANCE

Property owners and renters in Florida should insure their homes against flooding, something many people don’t know is not part of a typical insurance policy. Even properties that don’t lie next to waterways and beaches can be at risk for floods during a serious storm. Auto insurance is important too, as your vehicles are susceptible to damage from the hurricane as well. Move your car to a safe location if possible and call your insurance company to make sure you’re covered.

 

Don’t Underestimate the Storm

Most of the casualties and serious injuries from hurricanes are to people in evacuation zones who stayed behind. Whether they underestimated the severity of the storm or they had no other option, being in the path of a serious hurricane is nothing to take lightly. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so have an evacuation plan in place ahead of time. There will be many others heading to safety, so know what you need to have together and carry out your plan early on to beat the bulk of the traffic.

 

Work With Someone You Can Trust

Many contractors out there will stack up unnecessary repairs and drive up costs before hurricane season. Don’t get overcharged by a contractor who isn’t honest with you. Whether you are concerned about your home or business, it’s important to work with a professional you can trust. The right contractor can identify and address any issues, as well as make helpful suggestions to make your property more protected. They will always look out for your best interests, including your safety, budget and schedule.

 

The Hardy Group has been serving Northeast Florida for more than 30 years, making us very familiar with hurricane preparation and recovery. Whether you need an inspection, emergency repair, construction services, or just some useful information regarding hurricane safety, you can trust us to be honest and fair with you. To ensure your home is protected, contact us today.

Flagler College

St. Augustine’s own Flagler College received an Outstanding Achievement – Adaptive Use award from the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation for the landmark trio of buildings that were formerly the headquarters of the Florida East Coast Railroad. The buildings were converted from office space to student residence halls.

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