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Tropical Storm Eta Thrashes State from Coast to Coast as Late Season Storms Persevere

Sound Planning Still Key in Managing Onslaught

After pounding South Florida with up to 13 inches of flooding rains in some areas, Tropical Storm Eta hammered the Tampa Bay area this week shuttering the Tampa International Airport and major roadways. Governor Ron DeSantis expanded the state of emergency declaration to include Alachua, Broward, Citrus, Collier, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hendry, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Sarasota and Sumter Counties.

With the National Hurricane Center continuing to monitor Tropical Storm Theta and a tropical wave in the Caribbean that may develop into a tropical depression by the weekend, the need for sound hurricane safety practices continues as the 2020 season shows no signs of retreating.

Ready.gov provides the following hurricane safety tips with the COVID-19 pandemic as an ongoing added threat.

Make an Emergency Plan

Make sure everyone in your household knows and understands your hurricane plan. Discuss the latest Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it may affect your hurricane planning. Don’t forget a plan for the office, kids’ daycare, and anywhere you frequent.

Other specific plan locations should include:

  • Vehicles (download the Commuter Emergency Plan)

  • Places of worship

  • Sports arenas and playing fields

  • Shopping areas such as malls and retail centers

To develop a plan for different locations, you need to get important information about the organization or building managers’ plans. In some cases if plans are not available, you may have to work with the building manager or other members of the organization to develop or build out plans. Consider the following:

  • How to get local alert or warnings while you are there

  • Building alarm or alert systems

  • Building evacuation plans including alternate exits

  • Building or organization shelter in place plans

  • Supplies you would need for temporary sheltering

Gather Supplies

Have enough supplies for your household, include medication, disinfectant supplies, cloth face coverings, pet supplies in your go bag or car trunk.

The cloth face coverings link details information on proper wear and cleaning such as:

Cloth face coverings should—

  • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face

  • be secured with ties or ear loops

  • include multiple layers of fabric

  • allow for breathing without restriction

  • be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape

  • If you must go to a community or group shelter remember to follow the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for protecting yourself and family from COVID-19.

  • Be prepared to take cleaning items with you like soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, or general household cleaning supplies to disinfect surfaces you may need to touch regularly.

  • Maintain at least 6 feet between you and persons not part of your immediate family while at the shelter [by avoiding crowds or gathering in groups] as much as possible.

  • Anyone over 2 years old should use a cloth face covering while at these facilities.

Florida residents are urged to have several ways to receive alerts and are encouraged to download the FEMA app to receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations nationwide. Residents can also sign up for community alerts in their areas. Other alerts are Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) which require no sign-up.

CFO Patronis Provides Storm Recovery Resources

In a recent press release, Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis was quoted as stating, “Although it’s late in the 2020 Hurricane Season, Floridians must stay vigilant and make final preparations for this storm immediately. It only takes a few inches of flood water to cause dangerous road conditions and significant damage to your home and business.” The press release also provides the following tips and information on Florida insurance policy law.

Final Storm Preparation Tips and Reminders for Floridians:

  • Never run a generator inside or too close to your home or garage.

  • Use sandbags and plastic sheeting to ward off rising water.

  • Take photos of items in your home to help make the recovery process easier.

  • Gather all insurance, financial and other important documents and secure them in plastic bags.

  • Secure outdoor objects, such as grills and lawn furniture, so that it cannot get displaced by high winds.

As tropical storm and hurricane warnings are issued throughout Florida, no new insurance policies will be written. Specific coverage amounts, total coverage limits, and deductible amounts are also locked in, per Florida law. Consumers are encouraged to review their current coverage to better understand their potential losses.

Additional information is available through the CFO’s PrepareFL.com website, a disaster-related resource to help Florida residents before, during, and after the storm.

HL Law Group is a boutique law firm that focuses its practice on property damage insurance claims. Call (855) 713-1212 or email us at info@hllawgroup.com if you have a question or a potential claim.

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If you have already retained a lawyer for this matter, please disregard this letter. DID YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY DENY OR UNDERPAY YOUR PROPERTY DAMAGE CLAIM? DID YOU SUFFER WATER, WIND OR OTHER PROPERT