HURRICANE IRMA –WHAT WE LEARNED
The purpose of this short note is to share with you what Serve to Protect experienced in the last 72 hours with Hurricane Irma, before and after the debacle. As local representatives and Key holders of our client’s properties, we will give you some basic insights of lessons learned.
We all know about hurricane season. As absentee home owners or resident, we have to prep our property for a potential hurricane or tropical storm. This entails the basics:
1) Retrieving all objects outside the property which could be potential missiles to your property or your neighbor.
2) Conduct a yearly inspection to your roof so as to assure yourself that you do not have a potential weakness to your structure.
3) Hurricane shutters. Electrically operated shutters should be serviced and operational. Manual shutters need to be installed at least 72 hours before a potential storm.
4) Electrical cuts are inevitable. Unplug all electrical appliances and throw out Ice and perishables from fridge and freezer.
A). Prepping your property does not mean that it is a safe place to weather the storm. You prep the property to protect your worldly possessions, NOT to safeguard the well-being of your loved ones inside the property. Sitting in a home that has shutters, no electricity and totally unaware of what is going on around your immediate surroundings could be a death trap. Storm surge and/or rain waters could engulf your home in a matter of minutes.
B). Evacuation. Know your flood zones and religiously obey evacuation orders. If you are in a Zone A or B you know you will be in danger if the storm path is in your region. Do not wait. Prepare in anticipation what you will need as you evacuate and DO NOT wait till you receive orders to evacuate. Anticipate.
C) We live in a Retirement Community. Be a good neighbor. Be aware of your surroundings and be of assistance to others.
D) Pets. Many residents have Pets (as we do). If you have not had time to evacuate in anticipation of a storm, please seek shelter at a location that will accept pets. We had to stay put so as to perform emergency post storm visits to our client’s properties. We spent 2 days at Buffalo Creek Middle School, in Pinellas County. It was an amazing experience. We Sincerely thank the Staff and volunteers at this facility.
80% of all fatalities in Tropical Storms and Hurricanes occur AFTER the inclement weather has passed. Some causes are drowning by driving in submerged roads, accidents with fallen debris, electrocution by downed live electrical wires, post storm surges; to name a few.
As you strictly obey evacuation orders, you should be patient and only return to your home when the authorities allow you to do so.
Sarasota and its surrounding regions were guaranteed a Cat 4 hit, were it not for Irma weakening by going over Cuba and taking a north-east path when it touched down in Florida. Luck spared us this time. Weather patterns are changing and we should, unfortunately, expect more activity of this type in the future.
Serve to Protect was on-site visiting all its client’s properties within 24 hours after the storm passed. Barrier Island access was only allowed at 4 PM the day after the storm. We are pleased to inform that our client’s properties survived this terrible storm without major damage. In some cases, electrical connections may take some time to be re-established.
Please contact us to schedule your complimentary House visit, we will be delighted to assist you in this critical process.
Alan, Pat and Danielle Pollak