May 19, 2008

Ready Your Bonita Springs Home For Storm Season

Storm Preparedness In Bonita Springs

Storm season in Bonita Springs is just around the corner. By storm season, I mean the “H” word [Hurricane]. It’s kind of like the “F” word but windier. On special occasions, you may hear a combination use of both of those words.

The fact of the matter is if you live near salt water in the United States you run the risk of being in the path of a hurricane at some point. Bonita Springs is on the water and is only separate by 150 miles of flat land by the next body of salt water. I’ve lived here for 22 years and have seen a few tropical depressions, tropical storms and even a hurricane or two. It isn’t as scary to think about if you’ve prepared properly. Here are a few tips for getting your Bonita Springs real estate ready for storm season.

The most important thing you need to know about a hurricane is how to prepare. It’s really not that difficult. Remember the old adage; an ounce of prevention is a pound of cure? It’s similar with storms. You have to plan in advance. Although you likely know you need to get the appropriate insurance for your Bonita Springs home, you also need to know that you cannot get insurance while a storm is “in the box”. “In the box” is a square on an insurance map grid. When the storm is in your box and you don’t have insurance on your Bonita Springs home, tough rocks. You’ll want to plan in advance to not only get homeowners insurance but flood insurance, too. The flood insurance policies usually take 30 days to be affective so, again, if a storm is headed your way it had better take 30 days to get to you, or you lose. A great insurance agent can be found here: Bonita Springs Insurance Experts

To further prepare your home and possibly reduce your insurance costs, you may want to look into a windstorm mitigation survey. A certified wind inspector can check your home and certify it wind safe thereby reducing your premiums. You can find out more about wind certification here: Free Bonita Springs Wind - Hurricane Mitigation Inspection

If you live in a condominium or a shared wall structure, like a villa or townhome you likely have structure coverage and usually have flood insurance which is paid for by the home owners association. If your lender requires you to carry flood insurance be sure to check with the property management company to have them send a copy of the policy to your lender.

You’ll want to make sure you document the contents of your home by video or photos. Put the images on disc and store it with copies of your policy that you have to remember to take with you if you ever leave the area due to a storm.

Here is a list of things to do when a tropical storm or a hurricane is affecting SW Florida:

  1. Get your prescription medications filled so you have at a minimum a 14 day supply.
  2. Get enough water for each person in your household to have a gallon per day for a weeks.
  3. Cash talks, suckers walk. Go to the bank and get cash. The Visa card machine is electric and power may go out.
  4. Flashlights, candles, Sterno, battery powered radio or TV.
  5. Non perishable food. If the power goes out your fridge isn’t staying cold. Soup, protein bars, peanut butter, nuts, raisins,
  6. Your phones and cell phones won’t work so leave a voicemail greeting that states. “If you are looking for ‘The Jones Family’ you may contact us temporarily through my sister at 202-555-1212. Your worried friends and family can at least check up on you. Naturally, you’ll want to find a way to check in with your sister to let her first know that you’re alright.
  7. If you are a business owner you may want to forward your calls outside of the area so that your business is attended to. Often times other business owners will help in extreme weather conditions.
  8. Pet papers, license, pet food, pet medication back up and the pet!

Here’s a printable checklist that you may find helpful to use while preparing for our storm season in Bonita Springs and Southwest Florida. Click here: Hurricane Checklist

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