One Year Later

One year ago our area was blasted by Hurricane Florence. Even though we had known she was on the way, we were still not quite prepared for the damage that would be caused.

Even though our area was spared the worst of the winds, we experienced torrential rainfall – with 10 – 20 inches reported throughout the area.

The cape fear river stopped rising at 61.5 feet – which is the highest it’s been since 1945. Mandatory evacuations were held, but still lives were lost and homes were destroyed in its wake.

Ft. Bragg suffered almost $55 million in damages. In our county alone we had close to 2000 buildings damaged. Hundreds of people were without power, and unable to get to work because of washouts and road closures. Down the road in spring lake, 87 was closed down and dozens of people had to be rescued from their homes. Our area was declared a state of emergency.

Insurance companies couldn’t keep up with the numbers of claims that were filed, and stopped returning calls – causing a standstill on all repairs. Local contractors and restoration companies were backed up for months trying to mitigate and repair the thousands of homes that were damaged.

Now almost 1 year later, we are still recovering and working on moving on.

We have had two major hurricanes in the last three years, causing unprecedented damages and upending lives. Are you ready for when the next one hits? Is your home ready?

What you can do NOW:

  1. Call your insurance company. Find out what IS and what is NOT covered on your policy. Are you in a flood zone? Do you have FLOOD insurance? If your home has flooded before it WILL flood again – consider paying the extra to be sure your home is covered. What is your deductible? Do you have the funds set aside to pay this when the time comes? This hurricane season insurance checklist can help you to understand your coverage and whether it’s adequate to repair or rebuild your home, if necessary, and to replace your belongings.

  2. Stock up on the items you wished you had last time. Did your power go out and you were left in the dark? Start purchasing flashlights, lanterns, generators etc. NOW, before the storm hits and the shelves are bare. 

  3. Load your personal documents onto a USB and keep it in your car. Driver’s license copies, birth and marriage certificates, important policies, contact information… if your home floods or you have to evacuate, this is important information you need to have on hand.

  4. Take steps to protect your home. Do you have a loose shutter, gutter or other misc. maintenance that won’t be able to withstand hurricane force winds? Fix them NOW, before it’s too late. Cut and trim branches close to your home that may pose a threat. 

  5. Sign up for your communities warning system, look into NOAA for emergency alerts. 

  6. Make plans for if you need to evacuate. What do you HAVE to take? What needs done BEFORE you leave? Turn ALL power and water off to your home if you are leaving town. Communicate with friends ahead of time to ensure that you have somewhere safe to go for the worst.

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