Hurricane Idalia looks likely to pass well to the north of the Orlando area, but homeowners could still experience some storm damage. With months of the 2023 hurricane season left, Orlando area residents should be ready for any potential aftermath of storms. After a hurricane has passed through an area, homeowners should take several immediate steps to ensure their safety and assess and mitigate any potential damage. Here’s a list of important actions to take:
- Stay Informed: Continue to monitor weather updates and local news for any post-storm developments, safety advisories, or evacuation orders.
- Safety First: Ensure the safety of yourself and your family members. Watch out for downed power lines, unstable structures, and other hazards that might have been caused by the storm.
- Assess the Damage: Once it’s safe to do so, assess the damage to your property. Check for structural damage, fallen trees, roof leaks, and broken windows. Take photos or videos of the damage for insurance purposes.
- Check for Gas Leaks: If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the gas supply and leave the property immediately. Contact your gas company and follow their instructions.
- Turn Off Utilities: If you suspect damage to water, gas, or electrical lines, it’s a good idea to turn off the main utilities until they can be inspected by professionals.
- Contact Loved Ones: Let friends and family know you’re safe and update them about your situation.
- Emergency Repairs: Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage. Cover broken windows, put tarps over leaks, and take measures to secure your property from potential looting.
- Avoid Flooded Areas: If flooding has occurred, avoid walking or driving through floodwaters. Floodwaters can be contaminated and hide dangerous debris or open manholes.
- Document the Damage: As mentioned earlier, document the damage with photos or videos. This will be useful when dealing with insurance claims.
- Contact Insurance: Notify your insurance company about the damage as soon as possible. Follow their instructions for filing a claim and provide the necessary documentation.
- Keep Receipts: Keep track of any expenses related to storm damage and repairs, as your insurance might reimburse you for these costs.
- Secure Belongings: If your home has sustained significant damage, secure your belongings to prevent theft or further damage.
- Stay Hygienic: If your water supply is compromised, use bottled water for drinking, cooking, and brushing your teeth. Avoid consuming or using tap water until it’s deemed safe.
- Food Safety: Check the condition of your food supply. If power was lost, perishable items might have spoiled. Discard any food that you suspect might be unsafe.
- Stay Cautious: Be cautious of post-storm hazards, such as mold growth, weakened structures, and disease-carrying insects.
- Assist Neighbors: If you’re able, check on your neighbors, especially the elderly or those with special needs. Offer assistance if they require help.
- Listen to Authorities: Follow the instructions and guidance provided by local authorities, emergency services, and disaster relief organizations.
Remember that recovery after a hurricane can take time, and the safety and well-being of you and your loved ones should be the top priority. Always follow the advice and recommendations of local authorities and emergency services during these situations.
If your home is damaged by any storms that blow through the Orlando area, contact us at JA Edwards of America. We can assess the damage and offer the best advice for completing your roof repairs or replacements.