As Hurricane Irma approaches our area, we want to take time to help you prepare for the storm. There is no question, this a serious category 5 Hurricane and is getting stronger. Our Governor has repeatedly stated that we need to prepare and be ready. If your home is in an area that requires you to evacuate, please do so. Do not stay. If your home is not in an evacuation zone, and you chose to stay home, we highly recommend that you follow these important steps to keep you safe during this dangerous storm. As always please call 911 in an emergency!
Before the Storm:
- Move outdoor patio furniture, grills, etc. into a protected area, such as a garage. Loose or unsecured items left outside can become dangerous missiles during periods of high winds.
- Back up digital videos, photos and computer records using a cloud based service like iCloud or Carbonite.
- Use a water/fire proof box or safe to store important documents (titles, passports, birth certificates, etc.) and valuables (jewelry, cash, precious metals, etc.) in it.
- Conserve refrigeration. Open the refrigerator/freezer door as little possible. Set your refrigerator to the lowest setting to keep your items colder.
- Listen to the County Warning System on the radio. Do exactly as advised. Make plans to relocate outside the affected area. Have current information on the location of the Red Cross shelters and directions to get there. If there are ill or disabled persons in the apartment, contact their doctor for instructions. If the County Warning System requires relocation, do so early to avoid traffic jams and dangerous winds. Be sure to take necessities such as prescriptions, bedding, enough food for 24 hours, flashlights and a battery-powered radio.
- If you evacuate, take your valuables, pets, refrigerated and frozen food with you. Turn off all electrical appliances.
- Place rolled towels around the bottom of all exterior doors and windows. Use sand bags if they are available.
- Close all blinds to avoid shattering glass. Do not tape any windows.
- Fill the bathroom tub with water. This water may be used for drinking should the water supply become interrupted or contaminated. It may also be poured into the toilet bowl to induce flushing.
- Stock up on daily necessities. Items such as the following are a must: non-perishable food, bottled water, first aid kits, blankets, can opener, batteries, battery-powered radio, prescriptions, diapers, baby food, extra eye glasses, hearing aids and battery-powered lanterns.
- Fill all vehicles with gas. In the event of loss of electricity, the gas pumps will not operate.
- Have enough cash on-hand. In the event of loss of electricity, ATMs and debit/credit card machines will not operate.
- Carry all important paperwork and personal identification with you.Unplug sensitive electronic equipment such as computers, wireless routers, televisions, etc. Electrical surges and lightning strikes can destroy these even if you use power strips with surge protection.
During the Hurricane:
- Continue to listen to the County Warning System on the radio. Do exactly as advised.
- Stay indoors! If the calm eye of the hurricane passes through the area, continue to stay indoors unless it is absolutelynecessary to leave.
- If the electricity goes off, turn off or unplug all hazardous appliances. (i.e. stove, iron, curling irons, blow-dryers) Use flashlights instead of candles or kerosene lamps. Please be aware that emergency building lights and fire safety devices will become inactive. Take necessary precautions.
- Use the telephone for emergencies only. Jammed phone lines may obstruct emergency calls for police, fire departments, doctors and the Red Cross disaster units.
- Conserve refrigeration. Open the refrigerator/freezer door as little possible.
- Remain indoors until the official "all clear" is given from the County Warning System on the radio.
After the Hurricane:
- If you vacated your home prior to the storm, before returning, please check with local authorities to determine the condition of the roads and the surrounding area.
- Beware of outdoor hazards. Watch out for loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the proper authority. All emergency numbers are in the white pages of the telephone book.
- Walk or drive cautiously. Debris-filled streets are very dangerous. Snakes and poisonous insects may be a hazard. Washouts may weaken road and bridge structures, which could collapse under vehicle weight.
- Use caution when cooking when flames are present. A gust of wind through a door or window could start an accidental fire and the fire department may not be readily available while hurricane winds are blowing.
- Open the refrigerator only when necessary. Food will spoil in the refrigerator if the power is off more than a few hours.
- Do not use water until authorities have issued the area to be a safe water area. Use the emergency supply in the tub or boil water. Report broken sewer or water mains to the proper authority.
- Take extra precautions to prevent fire. Lowered water pressure in city mains and the interruption of other services may make fire fighting extremely difficult after a hurricane.
- Notify our office in the event of any damages to your home.
- Please wipe all moisture from windows and doors.
Be patient. It takes a team effort to clean up after a storm.
As you can imagine, many of our vendors and contractors we depend on to provide parts, labor, or technical assistance may be stretched to the limit. Because of this our response to service requests for your home may be delayed. We sincerely appreciate your cooperation and patience during the aftermath of these storms. All life-safety issues will be responded to accordingly. Please take the time be as prepared as possible.
Helpful Telephone Numbers:
If in an emergency, and you need emergency assistance, please call 911.
If any damage is received to the home, please contact us at 904-517-5939 and listen to the prompts to reach our emergency answer service. If you call is considered an emergency, we will dispatch a contractor as soon as available.