It’s a particularly active storm season in the American sunbelt with Florida, the Gulf States, and South Texas in the crosshairs of a barrage of tropical storms and hurricanes. For those snowbirds with homes in these areas, the anxiety level is understandably high.
If you have special concerns about damage aftermath in certain areas of Florida (which is where I live), send me an email and I will try to find more specific information than you are likely to get from your national media about the effects of the storm in your area.
Remember, it does not help to go to a storm-ravaged area to check on your condo, mobile home, or apartment. Local authorities need to clear out these areas and make them safe for returning residents and homeowners. You will only get in the way, and there is nothing much you can do if there is no power, water, sewage, gasoline, or other routine amenities. Believe me, I know how helpless one can feel in these situations. Wait for official clearance to return.
Most of you will have friends or acquaintances that live in these areas. Contacting them to find out the extent of the damages, if any, is your best first line of defense. Stay calm. So long as you have not been hurt, you have won the first battle. All the rest can be replaced.
One thing you will want to do immediately is call your property insurance broker and make sure they get on your case. Don’t assume it will be taken care of automatically.
And if you decide to make that last-minute trip to reassure yourself all is well—or not—don’t forget your travel insurance. It’s easy to forget in times of anxiety, but don’t let it slip your mind. You may need it now, more than ever.