After the storm

Hazards still lurk after the storm has passed through. Follow these guidelines to ensure that you remain safe, that you properly assess any damage done to your property, and that you do not interfere with overall recovery and relief efforts.

Post Hurricane Guidelines

  1. Remember that “All Clear” indicates that the emergency or storm is over. It does not mean that you are cleared to return to your home. You need to listen to local authorities for authorization to return to a specific area.}
  2. The Manatee County Citizen Information Center can be reached at 941-748-4501 for local information and assistance.
  3. Once you determine that you can go home, gather all your belongings, and clean the shelter area used.
  4. Consider procurement of needed supplies and food before returning to your home.
  5. Inform your next of kin of your return home and how you are doing.
  6. Do not touch loose or dangling electrical wires. If you notice such problems, do not turn the power on and report this condition to proper authorities.
  7. Beware of outdoor hazards (snakes, strayed animals, and other critters). Be alert for potholes, sinkholes, structural damage, etc.
  8. Do not drink County/City tap water until official word comes that it is safe to do so. Use bottled water from the hurricane survival kit or purchase additional water if possible.
  9. Guard against spoiled food. If there is any doubt, discard It is better to be on the safe side.
  10. Do not “sightsee”. This only hampers recovery efforts.
  11. Report all unsafe conditions to the proper authorities.
  12. If personal damage to your household goods is encountered, contact your insurance carrier as soon as possible.



Insurance Actions to Take After the Storm

Immediately report property damage to your insurance agent and company.

Your company will issue a special reference number for your claim -- Write it down! Keep
this number close by in all your dealings with the company.

Recognize that three different types of adjusters handle claims.

An adjuster often participates in claim, loss or damage settlement. An adjuster must hold a proper license from the Department of Insurance to perform work in Florida. The three kinds of adjusters are:

  • Company adjusters, who work as insurance company employees
  • Independent adjusters, who usually work as employees of independent adjusting firms which contract with your insurance company to handle claims
  • Public adjusters, who do not work for insurance companies or independent adjusting firm. Public adjusters are self employed, or work in association with a public adjusting firm. Public adjusters contract with the insured to help them settle their claims with insurance companies and are paid by receiving a negotiated percentage of the claims settlement. This means that if you contract with a public adjuster, you must share a portion of your settlement with that public adjuster.

All adjusters are required to adjust your claims strictly in accordance with your insurance
contract, and in compliance with the Florida Insurance Code. All adjusters must comply with the “Adjusters Code of Ethics” contained in the Department of Insurance rules. Be sure to see the adjusters license identification.

Make emergency repairs and document them.

Your policy probably requires you make emergency repairs to prevent further damage to
your home or contents. You may need to use plywood or tape to stop rain from entering
holes caused by the debris hitting your home. Keep all receipts and take photos of the
damage, before and after the repair, to submit with your claim.

Take precautions if the damage requires you to leave your home.

When evacuating, secure your property and remove any valuables. Lock all windows and

Beware of fly-by-night repair businesses.

Hire licensed and reputable service people, preferably from this area. Call the Department of Business and Professional Regulation at 1-850-487-1395 to find out if a contractor is licensed.

Beware of fraud.

Insurance fraud cost Florida families thousands of dollars each year. If you suspect
insurance fraud call the Fraud Hotline at 1-800-378-0445.



Boat Care After the Storm

  1. After the hurricane has passed, there may be extensive damage in the area. While
    checking the condition of your vessel is an important concern, there may be limitations such as flooded roads and downed power lines. A check of the vessel should be made as soon as practicable to determine its condition and security.
  2. Other vessels may be upriver behind your vessel mooring location. This may require that you modify your mooring if you are in the center of a canal or stream so that other vessels may navigate past you. If you don’t, others may just cut your mooring lines and let your vessel drift, causing more damage than the hurricane.
  3. A check of vessel security is important if damage has occurred. One security aspect that must be considered is the prevention of looters or others who feel that a damaged vessel is “abandoned” and thus theirs to take.
  4. If there has been any theft or vandalism loss or damage to the vessel, other than storm related, a report should be made to local police or other law enforcement authorities so that appropriate actions can be taken. The incident report number and, if possible, a copy of the incident report should be obtained to substantiate any insurance claim or IRS property loss reporting.
  5. If damages are incurred to the vessel, immediate action should be taken to save the vessel and/or equipment and prevent further loss or damage. This action is a requirement of all insurance policies. A vessel owner is expected to take those actions that a “prudent uninsured person” would take to save and preserve his property.
  6. If the vessel appears to be un-repairable (constructive total loss), arrangements will still have to be made to remove the hull from any navigable waterway as this will probably be required by government authorities. The vessel should be moved to a yard or salvage facility storage area.
  7. If salvage removal of your vessel is required (emergency or otherwise) and you are unable to receive advice from your insurance company, agent, marina or yacht club, screen the salvage contractor for competence and cost. Read the contract, know where your vessel is going, and the level of security provided at the location. Save as much equipment from the vessel as possible.
  8. Where vessel damages are repairable, immediate arrangements should be made with a reputable repair yard to have the vessel moved there, if necessary, for repairs. Make a list of repair facilities that you would like to work with. Obtain estimates before proceeding with repairs. Those who act quickly will be back in the water first.