Volume 1, Number 36
September 6, 2004










TEXT VERSION

 

 


Hurricane Ivan is in the Caribbean and should be watched. It is too far away to forecast whether it will impact Florida. This National Hurricane Center graphic is a three-day forecast of the possible path from the 11 a.m. advisory on 9-7-04. Find the latest advisory at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ .

CONSUMER TIPS FOR HURRICANE IVAN

The Florida Department of Financial Services is mobilized to assist with insurance and banking questions and concerns.  Residents should call our toll-free hotline at 800-22-STORM. The department has already assisted more than 17,000 Floridians coping with the aftermath of Hurricane Charley, and many more after Frances.

Safeguard important documents such as your insurance policy information, company contact numbers, and mortgage documents and take them with you in the event of evacuation. 

Have plenty of cash on hand since access to ATMs, debit cards and credit cards will be limited in the event of power outages.

Protect windows.  If you need to protect your windows, get plywood panels 5/8” thick.  Where plywood is scarce, a second option is oriented strand board.  If you have to prioritize which windows to protect, cover larger ones first, like bay or picture windows.  Sliding glass doors are often made of tempered glass, so worry about these last.

Limit flying debris.  Clean your yard and remove anything that will become airborne missiles, including dead tree limbs.

Reinforce your garage door.  Your garage door is your home’s largest single opening, next to your roof, making it vulnerable to high wind.  

Batten down the hatches.  Be sure to close and lock all windows, doors, skylights and vents in your home to prevent water intrusion.

Buy tarps.  If the storm damages your roof, you’ll want to cover the area with water-resistant material, like a tarp or plastic sheeting when it is safe to do so.

After the storm: 

If forced to evacuate your home, let your agent or insurance company know your temporary forwarding address and phone number.

Immediately report property damage to your insurance agent and company.

Make emergency repairs to protect from further damage, document the damage and repairs in writing, and with receipts and photos. Keep receipts for those repairs so that your insurance company can reimburse you.

Maintain copies of your household inventory and other documentation, including photos.  This will assist the adjuster in assessing the value of the destroyed property

If considering the assistance of a public insurance adjuster, verify that they are licensed by calling the department’s toll-free consumer helpline at 1-800-342-2762.

Be sure you understand how much a public insurance adjuster is charging and what services are included before signing any contract.

Beware of fly-by-night repair businesses. Hire licensed and reputable service people. 

Our September skyline is Charlotte Harbor looking toward Punta Gorda before Hurricane Charley.