Severe weather is common in Florida. Residents deal with their fair share of thunderstorms, and many have witnessed tornadoes and hurricanes, too. Whether you choose to shelter in place for these events, head to a local shelter, or even evacuate the state, understanding what to do after a Florida severe weather event can help you remain organized and calm.
Is the Worst Over?
Many people mistakenly assume that once the storm has passed and the wind has died down, the worst of the storm is over. This is not always the case. One of the biggest concerns during a Florida severe weather event is flooding, which can continue to occur. Remember that hurricanes, especially, tend to create their own weather, and this may lead to rain that lasts for days after the main event. Pay close attention to NOAA weather and your local news to learn more about flooding after any significant weather event.
Should You Come Out of Your Shelter?
Another common concern after a Florida severe weather event is whether it is safe to come out of a shelter. Once all warnings have expired for your area, you can leave your shelter – but do so carefully, especially if you sheltered in a cellar with outdoor entry during a tornado warning. You may come across debris or downed power lines, and these can be dangerous. Observe the area closely before you exit.
Should You Return Home?
If you evacuate your home before a hurricane, you may wonder when it is safe to return home. You should only do so once officials have deemed it safe. After a significant Florida severe weather situation, officials will often allow a few neighborhoods at a time to return to their homes. This is done to keep traffic under control and to aid in rescue efforts. Remember that officials may not see all potential hazards in your neighborhood, so be aware of your surroundings and report any major damage, flooding, or downed power lines to the proper channels.
Insurance after a Florida Severe Weather Event
After a Florida severe weather event like a flood, hurricane, or tornado, you should contact your homeowner’s insurance provider to file a claim, if necessary. Your insurance provider may ask you to send photos of the damage, and it may ask whether you took any preventative measures (boarding up windows, for example) to prevent damage. Remember to keep any receipts for everything from meals to hotel stays as you may be reimbursed depending on your policy. Make a list of everything that you lost due to the weather, even if there is already a record of those items on file with your insurance company. This will help to speed up the claim process.
Safety is the most important thing after a Florida severe weather event, so be sure to follow the tips here for guidance. Your local news and weather will provide most of the information you need to start getting back to normal after tornadoes, hurricanes, and severe flooding.