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Hurricane Tips- Before/During/After


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Living in Florida or any other coastal State that is targets for Hurricanes, you probably have plenty of experience getting the basics done to prepare your family and property for the storm. 

What we don’t hear a lot about is the things we should do if you plan to shelter in place and ride out the hurricane until it passes. And more importantly, where to begin when we’re faced with damage or destruction after it’s all over. 
Today, I’m providing you the things you should know to make this process a little less painful, a checklist of supplies, do-to's, a list of who you should contact, and what you should if a loss occurs. 
 Plus a few tips you may not have thought of in the pass. So let’s dive in. 

 
First, let’s talk about what each of the hurricane category levels mean in terms of what you should do to properly prepare. 

A Cat 1 Storm will have winds 74-95 mph and Cat 2 Storm will reach winds up to 110 mph. Both levels of storms could result in roofs shingles flying off, gutter damage, shallow rooted tress upturned.  
Power outages could last up to a few weeks.
 
A Cat 3 storm will have winds 111 to 129 mph. A Category 3  will result in some devastating damage. Some roofs may blow off, and larger trees will be uprooted causing wide spread and longer periods  power outages.
 
A Cat 4 Hurricane will have winds of 130 to 156 mph. A Category 4 storm will leave behind catastrophic damage.. Catastrophic damage being defined as power outages lasting up to months and most of the area being uninhabitable.  

A Cat 5 Hurricane will have winds of more than 157 mph. Catastrophic damage is a 100% certainty, will most frame homes destroyed, the area uninhabitable for months, and sadly, the human death rate will be much higher. 

Let’s talk a little bit about preparation. 
The weather professionals give us a 3-4 day heads-up the storm is coming.. Don’t wait until the night before the storm is due to hit before gathering your supplies and battening down the hatches. 

In the description, I’ve put a link to a printable checklist of items you should gather. Most of the items on this list is all the things you’ve always been told to have always stored in water tight plastic tubs.. 
But whats not on this list is a few things you’ll be glad you did After the storm passes. 
Make sure you take plenty of pictures or video of everything in and outside your home. 
Be familiar with your homeowners insurance policy..What it covers and what it does not cover..especially water related damage. If you are unsure. Please call your insurance agent before the storm arrives. 
Put all important documents and any other treasured items in a water tight, plastic tub with a lid. The things you should put in this tub is anything an insurance check cannot replace. 
With most all Hurricanes, even Cat’s 1&2 it’s likely you will have a power outage. 
If you have a generator, great! Remember to always have your generator away from the house or any flammable material. It’s also a good idea to have it chained down, like to a tree to avoid theft. 

Use your empty milk jugs to fill with water and freeze them. This will help keep your frig items cold and also will provide you with drinking water as it melts. 
Of course, you’re going to make sure your phone is charged. But what if there’s no service after the storm? 

Firstly, if your clock is working on your phone, you will be able to text. Also, download an app called Zello. This is a free app that works like a walkie talkie and you can communicate with others that have the app. 

Also, I put a link in the description for a grocery checklist. Along with that link you’ll find loads of meals you can prepare ahead that will keep for several days, should you be without power for any length of time. 

What if there’s a sewage outage? 
Whatever you do, do not flush your toliet! Sewage lift stations may be down and could cause sewage to back up into your house.. 
Consider getting a portable toliet, like the kind they have in boats and campers. You can get one at Walmart for around $70, or if your on a tight budget, you can find a portable toilet like this one at any sporting goods store for around $20. One more tip about the potty: 
Don’t use cat litter, you can’t flush cat litter once your system is working again.. 
 
And don’t forget about our pets! Here’s some important tips: 
If you have to evacuate, placing your pet in a pet shelter should be the last resport. Have a kennel or cage for each of your pets, and consider a vet boarding center or pet friend hotel. 
If your pet gets lost during the storm, remember, things they relate to will be distorted..like familiar sights and smells. They will become confused. So please make sure your fur baby is microchipped and you have updated all the information online including recent photos. 
 
For complete details on the Do’s and Don’t when handled pets during a hurricane call the SPCA at the number here or go to PetsWelcome.com 


Riding Out the Storm Checklist 
Emergency management officials typically recommend that 
Florida residents who do not live in an evacuation zone stay home 
during most tropical storms and hurricanes, with the exception of 
those who are in poor health, elderly, or in the last trimester of 
Pregnancy. 

Check your disaster supplies and bring them into a central “safe room.” A safe room is an enclosed space, preferable in the center of your home, that has no windows..Like a closet or hallway. 

Install your  hurricane shutters.  
If you do not have  hurricane shutters, board up windows and doors 
(including garage doors) with plywood. I’ve included a link to a very easy to follow video how you can easily make and install your own window boards. 

Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting. Keep them closed as much as you can so your food will last longer if 
the power fails. Now is the time to put those frozen jugs of water to use! 

Turn off and properly secure propane tanks. Place tanks in an easily accessible location, as you may need to use them after the storm to heat canned goods, cook food and/or boil water. 

If you own a generator, fill gas containers and secure them in a safe, easily accessible location. While you’re at the gas station top off all your vehicles, just in case theres a shortage after the storm. 

Unplug all small appliances and anything with a light bulb in rooms you do not plan to use during a storm. This will help to protect your belongings from harmful surges when power is restored. 

Do you have a fax machine? Get an old fashioned phone and plug it in Yep, you can still buy one on Amazon for about $15....It works great for outbound calls. 

Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or your local emergency news station for information on the progress of the storm from the National Weather Service. 

Bring a smoke detector and carbon monoxide 
detector into the room or hallway. 

 In the event that your roof develops a hole or completely blows off, have 
a mattress readily available in the safe room to function as a barrier against flying debris and wind. 

Storm Recovery 
After the storm has passed, Contact family and friends to let them 
know you’re okay. 
Contact the American Red Cross if you are unable to reach friends or family.  They maintain a shelter database to help you reconnect with loved ones.  
You’ll find the contact information for the Red Cross, along with All the State and Local agencies in the link I provided for you in the description.  
Assessing the Damage: 
Look for any damage to the interior of your home. Immediately seek alternative shelter if you smell gas, have fire damage, or flood waters are not receding from your home.  
Carefully watch your home and yard. 
Use the buddy system where one person looks for damage while the other watches for dangers on the lawn, like snakes, broken glass, downed power lines. 
 Immediately report any downed lines or gas leaks to the proper authorities.  Again, I’m providing you with all those contacts in one easy document in the link below in the description. 

What do you do if a loss occurs? 
Protect your property from further damage by making reasonable and 
necessary repairs. 
It’s important to keep  receipts of all expenses related to temporary repairs and for any expenses incurred that are to be considered for reimbursement. 
Make a list of your damaged personal property. If possible, include 
the manufacturer, brand name, and place and date of purchase. 

Photos or video of your property before the loss are most helpful. 
Separate damaged property and keep it in a secure location. A claims 
adjuster will need to examine all damaged property to fully estimate 
your loss. 

I’d like the thank our friends at ServePro for providing a lot of the imformation shared here today. 
Did you know ServePro can also assist you with your insurance claims? 
 The last thing you want to have to worry is an insurance claim. Their office can assist you with processing paperwork and overseeing your claim if necessary. 

After the initial shock of this violent ordeal, be thankful you and your loved ones are in one piece! 
And Try to remember, most of the things damaged or destroyed can be replaced with an insurance check. 

If you choose to Ride It Out, please take advantage of all the valuable checklists, and advice given here today, and share with your friends and loved ones.  
I’m Lisa Kelly Lakeland Homes and Lifestyles with Premier Realty.  
Stay safe my friends!
 

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What my clients are saying  

My experience while purchasing my first home was the best experience I've ever experienced. With Lisa's guidance it was a stress free experience. She made sure I was comfortable and understood every step. She gave her opinion from the heart. You can tell she genuinely wanted you to have the home you desired. She is very personable and that's great when you are purchasing a large investment. I am forever grateful of her help. So if you are looking to have a wonderful experience while purchasing or selling any property Lisa Kelly Realtor is the way to go.

 

~ Candace Engram

I had such a positive experience working with Lisa. Not only is she a complete professional, but such a compassionate human being. Her knowledge guiding me through the Florida real estate process was so helpful as a first-time Florida homebuyer. She was always prompt and responsive while going above and beyond. She attended all key inspections in person and kept me informed throughout the entire process. If you are looking for a great real estate experience, look no further. Lisa is your gal to get the job done. I will definitely be working with her again in the future.

 

~ DJ Bradley

I had such a positive experience working with Lisa. Not only is she a complete professional, but such a compassionate human being. Her knowledge guiding me through the Florida real estate process was so helpful as a first-time Florida homebuyer. She was always prompt and responsive while going above and beyond. She attended all key inspections in person and kept me informed throughout the entire process. If you are looking for a great real estate experience, look no further. Lisa is your gal to get the job done. I will definitely be working with her again in the future.

 

~ DJ Bradley

We can’t say enough good things about Lisa Kelly! From the moment she stepped through our front door, she demonstrated all the characteristics you want in your realtor: integrity, friendliness, optimism, thorough knowledge of her field, state-of-the-art technical savvy, unflagging energy and sensitivity to all our own needs and feelings. Our house sold in four days and we are certain this success was largely due to Lisa’s skill and hard work. We highly recommend Lisa Kelly to anyone looking for a top notch realtor!

 

~ Tom and Kim Manske

We can’t say enough good things about Lisa Kelly! From the moment she stepped through our front door, she demonstrated all the characteristics you want in your realtor: integrity, friendliness, optimism, thorough knowledge of her field, state-of-the-art technical savvy, unflagging energy and sensitivity to all our own needs and feelings. Our house sold in four days and we are certain this success was largely due to Lisa’s skill and hard work. We highly recommend Lisa Kelly to anyone looking for a top notch realtor!

 

~ Kim Manske

Sidney Wyland Lisa Kelly was our realtor that helped us with our move from Utah to Lakeland. She is a very good resource for us in Lakeland and helped us buy our new home. We found Lisa on the internet. She has helped us with all the contacts and scheduling to insure all things here went smoothly. The closing on our home was completed on time which was very important as we had are household goods being delivered from two different states. She also continues to be there for us for any referrals or help we may need here locally. I would highly recommend her to anyone buying a home.

 

~ Rick and Sidney Wyland

Just wanted to thank Lisa for a job well done. I worked with Lisa on 2 of our homes this past year. We sold one in June and another late in the year. Everything went smooth and all details were handled in a very professional manor. Thanks again Lisa; nice working with you. Lee Brown

 

~ Lee and Frankie Brown

We had been looking for a new home for about three months. We changed Realtors and began working with Lisa. She showed us a couple of places. We talked about limits on price and location. We looked again on a couple. We did not care for those. She emailed us about a home that was being restored for a flip. We met her at our current home. We liked the location and made an offer which was accepted. She did a great job getting the seller to accept and a wonderful job from there. The closing took about fifteen minutes. We have been very happy from that day on. Patricia and Bill Crabb

 

~ Bill and Patricia Crabb

We had been looking for a new home for about three months. We changed Realtors and began working with Lisa. She showed us a couple of places. We talked about limits on price and location. We looked again on a couple. We did not care for those. She emailed us about a home that was being restored for a flip. We met her at our current home. We liked the location and made an offer which was accepted. She did a great job getting the seller to accept and a wonderful job from there. The closing took about fifteen minutes. We have been very happy from that day on. Patricia and Bill Crabb

 

~ Bill & Patricia Crabb

Just wanted to thank Lisa for a job well done. I worked with Lisa on 2 of our homes this past year. We sold one in June and another late in the year. Everything went smooth and all details were handled in a very professional manor. Thanks again Lisa; nice working with you. Lee Brown

 

~ Lee & Frankie Brown

01/03/2017 - shunter317 Bought a Single Family home in 2016 for approximately $175K in Lakeland, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: Lisa is an exceptional agent as she knows real estate law and the local market. She communicates and is extremely responsive to her clients questions and needs. She walked us through a complicated contract. We consider Lisa a new friend.

 

~ What Others Had to say

Highly likely to recommend 08/09/2016 - HappyBuyerNEOH Bought a Single Family home in 2016 for approximately $225K in Lakeland, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: I highly recommend Lisa Kelly! She was awesome to work with through the whole process. Her communication and promptness went above and beyond my expectations. Working in the mortgage industry, I see all types of realtors, if you want a genuine, awesome, go getter- she is your girl!

 

~ What Others had to say

Highly likely to recommend 10/27/2014 - jessbparker Bought a Single Family home in 2014 for approximately $75K in Auburndale, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: I cannot say enough about Lisa Kelly. She helped my husband and I buy our first home when we had limited funds and difficult circumstances. She is extremely knowledgeable about homes, market, taxes- anything you could want to know. She is also an excellent advocate for her clients during negotiations, which really came in handy when you're a nervous first-time home buyer.Less

 

~ What others had to say

Highly likely to recommend 02/22/2014 - par167 Bought a home in 2014. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: Lisa Kelly is the hardest working woman I know! If you are in the market to buy or sell take it from my personal experience she delivers results!In Polk County or anywhere else for that matter you will be hard pressed to ever get better service. Paul Renner.....

 

~ What others had to say

Highly likely to recommend 02/25/2012 - user027478 Bought and sold a Single Family home in 2011 for approximately $275K in Lakeland, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: Lisa is the most professional realtor I've ever worked with... she's direct, honest, highly-knowledgable, very responsive and a consummate professional. She played fundamentally important roles in helping us to sell our house in a tough market. She's a hard worker and also gave us great advice and we were able to sell after listing for about 30 days. She then helped us find and close on our dream home. Her persistance and negotiating savvy helped us buy a house that was not a very convential listing. If we'd had an average realtor, we'd have been a lot less successful with both our deals. I'd recommend Lisa to anyone who wants to work with a genuine professional. She could write a book on what it takes to be an outstanding service provider.

 

~ What others had to say

02/09/2012 - Alyson7707 Bought a Single Family home in 2009 for approximately $125K in Bartow, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: We absolutely loved our experience with Lisa.. She is incredibly knowledgeable and dedicated to finding the home of your dreams. We couldn't be happier with the home she found us or the time we spent with her--she made the experience exciting and easy. We do not hesitate to recommend her to friends and family and will absolutely work with her in the future. Thanks again Lisa! -Michael & Alyson Elrod

 

~ what others had to say

Highly likely to recommend 02/08/2012 - AimeeWeed Bought a Single Family home in 2010 for approximately $100K in Auburndale, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: Lisa was always quick to respond to my questions. I honestly think that my family and I would not be in this wonderful house without her hard work. She is honest, not afraid to give her opinion in a helpful way, and she is very knowledgeable in all aspects of her job.

 

~ what others had to say

Wonderful wonderful experience. Lisa is what I call a dream maker. I had the dream, and she made it a reality.Lisa's hard work, her quick response, her compassion in knowing I was a single mom purchasing my first house, has earned my loyalty in using her as my realtor for life.

 

~ what others had to say

Highly likely to recommend 03/09/2011 - reedswife11 Bought and sold a Single Family home in 2011 for approximately $75K in Lakeland, FL. Local knowledge: Process expertise: Responsiveness: Negotiation skills: This woman is amazing, we have run into every road block imaginable and she has negotiated our problems quickly and effectivly everytime. Always available and Always puts her clients first

 

~ what others had to say

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