Preparing For Hurricane Irma

With Hurricane Irma projected to arrive in north central Florida in the next few days, we know that many residents are looking for ways to protect their properties and families. As disaster restoration specialists, we wanted to offer our expertise as you prepare. We’ve pulled together 11 key steps to prevent damage and handle emergency situations to help you stay safe and secure this weekend.

  1. Be aware of the hurricane’s progress. Stay tuned to local forecasts, storm warnings, and hurricane trackers. By following the hurricane’s progress, you can make an informed decision of whether to evacuate your property, if necessary. Be ready to make this decision if you live in an area that could be flooded. If you live in a prefabricated house that isn’t sturdy enough to stand up to the wind, you should evacuate early to avoid the rush.
  2. Clear weak or dead tree limbs around your property. Loose branches pose a significant danger during high winds, which can blow them down and cause damage to your property. Make sure to dispose of any branches in a closed container.
  3. Secure and clear out your gutters. Hurricanes and tropical storms typically bring heavy rain. Providing clear drainage will help prevent misdirected flooding. Securing loose gutters and downspouts will also prevent them from being whipped out of place by winds.
  4. Shut and reinforce windows and doors. This will help protect against strong winds and rain, keeping the storm outside. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option, though not a last-minute one, is to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. If you haven’t done this already, be sure to put it on your list in preparation for future storms. Don’t forget to secure any outside shed or garage doors as well.
  5. Clear your yard, porches, and patio. Make sure to safely store any outdoor furniture, grills, trash cans, bird feeders, hanging plants, kid’s toys – anything that high winds can pick up and use as a projectile. Playhouses, storage sheds, or any other outdoor structures should be anchored securely. If they are not already secured to a permanent foundation, you can use straps and ground anchors to keep them in place.
  6. Locate gas pilots and water mains. You will need to be able to find these and know how to safely shut off your utilities.
  7. Take photos or videos of the interior and exterior of your home and of your personal belongings. For insurance claims, it’s important to create a record of your personal property. This will help assist adjusters in case you need to file a claim. You can also create an itemized list of your furniture, clothing, and other valuables.
  8. Find and secure your important documents and insurance policies. If you don’t have time to access a safe deposit box, try to use a watertight box or make sure your documents are backed up online. If you plan on riding out the storm in your home, make sure you have a “safe room” inside the house.
  9. Put together a disaster supply kit. This kit should include a flashlight, batteries, cash, first aid supplies, and copies of your critical information if you need to evacuate.
  10. Charge your cell phone now. The worst time to run down your battery is mid-storm, after your home has lost power.
  11. Know your local emergency service providers. In case of extensive damage to your home during a storm, it’s important to learn ahead of time who will be available to help. Look for licensed contractors in Gainesville, FL who specialize in restoration and provide all-hours service. Maven Construction Group provides these services to the north central Florida region, and can be reached 24/7.

 

For further information as you plan for Hurricane Irma, please see these emergency preparedness and response resources:

Q&A: Tree Damage At the Davies’

Client Q&A: Tree Damage at the Davies’

Here at Maven Construction Group, we believe that the best way to learn about a business is through its clients. Our Client Q&A series will regularly revisit past job sites to introduce you to our range of projects and let our work speak for itself.

Read our Q&A with Craig Davies, whose house sustained substantial tree damage during a storm.

Q: What happened to your home that led you to call Maven Construction?

A water oak in our backyard lost a branch that landed on our house, creating several large holes in the roof. The branch was so large that it extended from our back yard across the roof onto the front of the house. I was very anxious and concerned. I climbed into the attic where I saw branches extending into the house with water from the storm coming through the holes. I immediately went back into the house with buckets and asked my wife Beth to call a repair service.

Leith [Finnegan, owner of Maven Construction Group] responded within the hour even though he had been at a local restaurant trying to enjoy a quiet meal.

Q: How was Maven Construction able to help that night?

Although the rain continued, Leith climbed onto the roof, and in spite of darkness and branches that made maneuvering and visibility difficult, he applied tarps to cover the holes. Leith arranged everything including dehumidifying the house and attic, tree branch removal, structural engineering appraisal, truss repair, roof replacement, drywall repair, interior and exterior door replacement and even all painting and finish work.

Obviously confidence and peace of mind is critical when repair to a home is needed. Beginning with the night Leith came to our house and applied temporary repairs, then discussing the situation and a plan of action, I began to relax and develop trust for Leith and Maven Construction. I felt increasingly confident that Maven would not only provide superior repairs, but that they would manage all subcontractors to the same standard.

Q: How did Maven Construction handle the insurance claim process?

We were not familiar with any of the processes needed to work with the insurance company, so Leith’s expertise and efficient approach gave us confidence that our home would be repaired to acceptable standards. Leith maintained an ongoing dialog with the insurance company, which I believe allowed us to stay on a schedule that completed the work in a timely manner and assured smoother financial transactions. He kept us informed regarding his interaction with the insurance company and any additional action that was necessary to assure prompt payment for claims.

Q: Was there anything about Maven’s work that particularly surprised or impressed you?

Their communication is outstanding! Leith organized everything and kept us informed so we never wondered or doubted that any aspect of the repair would be completed timely and with exceptional quality. We received regular progress reports via email or personal phone call. Leith remained available at any time to assist and assure us of the status of repairs.

Q: Do you have any advice for homeowners in a similar situation as you were?

Call Maven — you’ll be ever so pleased that you did!