Since forecasters predict ‘above average’ 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, and because the Tampa Bay area is already known as lightning alley, professional restoration services of Tampa Bay are already preparing. This is because more storms mean more Tampa FL water damage.
Whether you are new to the Tampa Bay area or have lived here all your life, you shouldn’t let storm season catch you off guard. While we can’t always predict when disaster will strike, we can prepare for spring storms and hurricane season. By taking the steps today to protect your family and your home, you can prevent even more damage than those who remain unprepared.
Build an Emergency Kit
Even if storms do not cause catastrophic damage, they can still make things difficult. For example, storms can cause you to lose electricity, and flooding can make it unsafe for you to use water from public water systems. That’s why it is critical to have an emergency kit with necessary supplies. Experts recommend having water and nonperishable food for at least three days stored. In addition, you should have items like a first aid kit, a flashlight, a weather radio, a manual can opener, and copies of your important documents.
Make an Emergency Plan
You should also prepare an emergency plan for your home or business. This plan should identify the safe places on the property where you can shelter during a dangerous storm, as well as the exits. Your plan should also include names and phone numbers for emergency contacts.
Sign Up for Alerts
Don’t put your head in the sand. Sign up for emergency alerts through the American Red Cross, FEMA, or local news stations. Emergency alerts will give you time to make plans and get to a safe location. It is just as important to stay informed after the storm has passed. This is where your weather radio will come in handy. Just because the storm seems to have ended, there may be other dangers in the area, such as flooding, which will make it unsafe to leave home.
Do Repairs Now
If you are aware of issues in your home, it is wise to do repairs now instead of waiting for them to worsen. For example, flood damage Tampa homes have experienced needs to be fully restored before they face another flood. Water damage can weaken the home’s structure, which will make it more vulnerable to this year’s storms.
Check Your Home’s Exterior for Potential Problems
You should also take time to evaluate your home’s exterior for potential problems, such as old tree branches that can break and fall on your home. Take note of anything that could be lifted or moved by strong winds, such as patio furniture, and consider anchoring it or moving it indoors. And don’t forget to clear your gutters! Water damage restoration in Tampa residents need can often be a result of clogged drains.
Make Sure You Have Insurance Coverage
Many homeowners mistakenly believe their insurance covers flood damage. Whereas home insurance typically covers water damage, it does not cover flood damage – especially if you live in a flood zone. If you live in a flood zone, it is wise to purchase additional flood insurance.
Be Aware of Tampa’s Emergency Response Plans
It is also important for those who call the Tampa Bay area home to be aware of Tampa’s emergency plans. The City of Tampa has a Natural Hazards Map that identifies flood zones and hurricane evacuation routes. You can also find area shelter locations on the website.
Know the Difference Between a Watch and a Warning
If you are confused when you hear your area is under a severe thunderstorm watch or warning, you are not the only one. Many people don’t know the difference between a watch and a warning. While you should pay attention to both, a warning means the threat is imminent. A weather watch means there is a potential for dangerous weather in your larger geographical area. A weather warning means a storm system will hit your specific area.
Invest in Lightning Protection
With the large amount of lightning in our area, homeowners should consider investing lightning protection. Ready recommends “buying surge protectors, lightning rods, or a lightning protection system to protect your home, appliances, and electronic devices.”
Pay Attention to Additional COVID-19 Concerns
The Tampa Bay Times reports, “The pandemic interruption could endure into hurricane season, which starts June 1, forcing unprecedented changes in the way Florida evacuates and shelters residents.” Shelters may look different this different this year, so it is important to find up-to-date information from local officials.
Know Who to Call When Disaster Strikes
Dririte is the restoration service provider for flood damage cleanup Tampa residents can trust. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our structural drying and water extraction services can help Tampa area residents get their properties back to livable conditions sooner rather than later.