Hurricane Matthew is set to wreak havoc on Florida’s Atlantic coast later today, Oct. 6, and early tomorrow, Oct. 7. It’s moving apace as a category-4 hurricane, as it ravages The Bahamas and makes its way toward Daytona Beach and other coastal towns.
Hurricane Matthew has the potential to devastate eastern Florida with projected winds of at least 130 mph, according to The Weather Channel, so it is absolutely essential for people to know how to protect their family, and home and property.
Here are some steps you can take to prepare for the storm.
Know How You’ll Leave
The state has issued mandatory evacuation orders for parts of Volusia County. If you received the alert to evacuate, be sure to review where your route is. The Florida Division of Emergency Management has maps for all evacuation routes in the state, so you and everyone in your family should get to know your route.
In general, you’ll want to be sure everyone in your family knows your evacuation plan so you can leave quickly, if you haven’t already.
Oh, and make sure your car has gas in its tank. There haven’t been reported empty inventories — those in charge of the supply chain are making sure we have what we need — but there could be long lines at the gas station.
Food and Water Are a Must
Although there are some stores with dwindling inventories, according to the News-Journal, there is still an opportunity to stock up. Families should visit their grocery store and stock up on canned goods and non-perishables. Have enough food for each member of your family for at least three days, according to the Department of Homeland Security’s guidelines.
Bottled water is also a must. DHS recommends that you should stock at least one gallon per person per three days for cooking, drinking, and personal hygiene.
Get a First-Aid Kit (for You and Your Phone)
Preparedness extends to first-aid kits and devices. A well-stocked first-aid kit with all the necessary medical supplies is essential. In addition to that, have a flashlight, radio and extra batteries in case of a power outage, the DHS says.
It’s also important to charge your phones and other devices you’ll need. Even better if you have one of those external batteries that charges your phone.
Board Up Your Windows & Tie Stuff Down
Board up your home’s windows, as flying glass can seriously injure those inside the home. But even if you’re evacuating, boarding up the windows is a must as a way to ensure the elements stay outside the home, according to the DHS.
If you have permanent shutters, make sure they’re shut tight.
But don’t forget all of those items in your yard: Secure anything that could be picked up by the wind to prevent them from potentially flying into your or your neighbor’s home.
As we mentioned when Hurricane Hermine loomed over the state, if your home sustains damage from Hurricane Matthew, you will need proof of the damage when filing your claim with the insurance company.
Take several wide-angle photos of your property, leaving no major details out of the picture, to show the condition of the property before the hurricane hit. This includes the interior and exterior of your home, your garage, and any other buildings or parked vehicles on your property. Everything.
But What about the Fight after the Storm
Sometimes, despite your due diligence in protecting your home — you’ve been paying your premiums month after month — the insurance company will still fight you over paying your claim. Or they might outright deny it. This frustrating and often cruel treatment doesn’t have to be how you spend your time in the aftermath of a horrendous hurricane.
Instead, consider looking into a knowledgeable insurance dispute attorney. Our hurricane insurance dispute guide offers information on what these attorneys can do for you, and also shows you what your insurance company should be covering. If you’re already ready to file a claim, call us at 877-667-4265 or fill out our free, no-risk case evaluation.