All Things Real Estate: Are you prepared for Hurricane Season?

Roz Liston

By the time you read this, for many others Hurricane Dorian will have already wreaked catastrophic havoc in the Bahamas and surrounding areas, as the most devastating storm on record for the islands (with sustained winds of up to 185 mph to 200-plus and storm surges of up to 20 feet). As of Sunday, Sept 1, as I write this column, the threat to the coastal areas in Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina was also at potential historic proportions going forward from Monday through Thursday, as the then Category 5 hurricane was moving very slowly at 5-7 mph through the Bahamas.

Our hurricanes are getting more and more severe in their intensity. I am wondering how prepared are you in dealing with them? Do you have at least the basic necessities to cope with them and are you equipped to handle these types of events? Previously with Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, now many of you were prepared? Obviously, thousands upon thousands of homes were destroyed and damaged on the South Shore and other areas of Long Island. Did everyone have an adequate insurance policy covering the damage? You should check your policy to see what coverages you do have and speak with your insurance broker and discuss whether or not you have enough coverage or an umbrella policy. Cost does factor in and that is a decision only you can determine. Lastly, it’s especially important if your home is being sold and/or in contract to make absolutely sure that your coverage is more than adequate. Do you have the necessary staples to weather the storm?
Protecting your life and your home is tantamount and many times we forget about the past and just live our lives. However, I suggest that you always be ready way in advance of any pending storm and have on hand the following safety net of items that will assist you in dealing with these types of events:
1.) Flashlights and an ample supply of batteries
2.) First aid kit
3.) All necessary medications
4.) Multi-purpose tool kit
5.) Life preservers for adults and children
6.) Emergency blankets
7.) Hand cranked radio and solar charger for cell phones
8.) Most important, food and water for at least seven days, which you would purchase in advance of a catastrophic storm

Check your property to see if there are any large tree limbs overhanging your home and then you might want to consider removing them. Also, when there is excessive rainfall and the ground becomes overly soaked, trees sometimes topple over. I am sure some of you may have experienced the damage from a tree either hitting your home or causing other destruction. So removing limbs that are close to your home might be a consideration. Also, it is advisable to clean and wash out all your gutters and leaders of debris, leaves and dirt, so that during a storm or even regular rainfall, the water will not accumulate behind your soffits and then inside your walls to cause major damage inside your home. Don’t forget to take in all outdoor furniture that could be a lethal or a damaging weapon when hurricane force winds are present.

If you are in the process of selling or considering putting your home on the market at this time of the year, while we are in what they say is “Hurricane Season,” check your property insurance as well as, again, those trees that you might have issues if that “what if” were to occur. Better to be safe than sorry, right?
Some homeowners have installed gas generators to eliminate the problem of not having any electric during or after a major storm. Costs of installing one can be costly. However, it does add excellent value and a benefit to your home, especially during times when electricity is absolutely necessary, such as life and death situations that require equipment to be running 24/7. Many homeowners purchase portable gasoline-operated generators to supplement their basic electric needs of keeping their refrigerator and maybe a few air conditioners operational, but they will not run the entire home. One must be careful where the portable generators are placed since carbon monoxide can be fatal if the unit is not placed in a well-ventilated location. Never leave in your garage or anywhere that fumes will accumulate and potentially enter your home. It can be a silent killer, so be extremely careful, when considering purchasing a unit for your home.

Being prepared for a hurricane in advance of the event requires some planning. Having the basics stored away and readily available will go a long way toward not having to rush out to purchase those items, as many people do to get caught in the frenzy of last minute preparations. There are canned non-perishable foods that can be stored, soups and tuna, as well as powdered and soy milk, cereals, peanut butter, ramen noodles. Then you will be ahead of the crowd. An old adage says ”an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Philip A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 in Great Neck. He has earned designations as a Graduate of the Realtor Institute (G.R.I.) and also as a Certified International Property Specialist (C.I.P.S.). He will provide you with “free” regular updates of sold and new homes in your town via the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island (MLSLI)or go to WWW.Li-REalEstate.Com as well as a “free” value analysis of what your home might sell for in today’s market without any “strings” attached. He can also provide a copy of “Unlocking the Secrets of Real Estate’s New Market Reality or Our Seller’s or Buyer’s Guides for “Things to Consider when Selling or Purchasing your Home. Just email or snail mail(regular mail) him with your request with your name, email and cell number and he will send it out ASAP. For a consultation, he can be reached by Cell: (516) 647-4289 or by email: Phil@TurnKeyRealEstate.Com to answer any of your questions or concerns.

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Roz Liston

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