It’s Hurricane Season (again) – Are You Prepared?

It’s Hurricane Season (again) – Are You Prepared?

By E. Christopher Caravette

July 2, 2017

With hurricane and storm season upon us, take time to review and record your possessions and important papers.

If a storm strikes, knowing what you have will help if disaster strikes.

• Safeguard your Paperwork – make sure all of your important legal documents (your will, powers of attorney or health care surrogate designation, birth and marriage certificate, social security card, passport or naturalization certificate, deeds and property records, and financial records) are protected or stored in the cloud or elsewhere)

• Inventory your Personal Property – make a list or, better yet, photograph or video your property with your mobile phone

In terms of your real estate, beware of the potential damage from wind, blowing rain and flooding. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety and the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes offer these tips to help reduce damage to your home.

• Check for gaps around pipes, electrical boxes and vents. Use waterproof caulk to seal any gaps or holes

• Purchase storm shutters (consider permanent ones – they could be worth the price) or plywood (½-inch to ¾-inch thick) to cover windows. Installing the hardware now will make putting up the shutters or plywood easier when a storm heads your way

• Add weatherstripping to hurricane shutters or plywood where they meet with walls to provide extra protection against water intrusion

• Trim tree branches that could break off in high winds and cause property damage

• Put away items around your yard, such as garbage cans, patio furniture and kids’ riding toys

• Roll up area rugs and move them to a second story, if possible, to help prevent growth of mold in case water seeps into your house

• Inspect sump pumps and drains to ensure they operate properly

• Remove outdoor items that are not tethered down

• Fill gas tanks in your cars

• Get extra cash from the bank or ATM

• Move furniture away from windows

• Store important documents in waterproof containers

Finally, prepare a Hurricane Kit. Make sure it includes:

• Flashlights & extra bulbs

• A battery-operated radio

• Battery-operated lanterns

• Batteries (in different sizes!)

• Matches

• A first aid kit

• Duct tape

• Rain gear

• A clock or watch (wind-up or battery-powered)

• Plastic garbage bags

• A fire extinguisher

• Scissors

• A can opener

• Clean clothes

• Extra blankets

• Heavy gloves

• Food and Water – Pack non-perishable food for each person for 3-7 days, including bottled water (1 gallon per person per day), bottled juice, two coolers (one for drinks, one for food), canned foods, and a manual can opener

• Dry pet food (if you have a pet).

LOOK TO US FOR ALL OF YOUR REAL ESTATE, SMALL BUSINESS, AND ESTATE PLANNING LEGAL NEEDS! WE APPRECIATE YOUR BUSINESS!

(Note: The information in this article is intended to be general in nature. Plan to discuss your particular circumstances with an attorney for how this might apply to you.)

Be Aware! The New “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law” is in Effect!

by E. Christopher Caravette

The new “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law” prohibits the act of sending and reading texts, emails, and instant messages while operating a vehicle in the State of Florida.  A violation has been designated a secondary offense.  The first infraction imposes a fine of $30 and is categorized as non-moving.  A second infraction within 5 years imposes a fine of $60 and a moving violation of 3 points.  The law applies to all drivers, including general motorists and commercial drivers.

Be aware! The new law took effect on October 1, 2013!

For a link to the full text of the statute, go to http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2013/0052/BillText/Filed/HTML.

(Note: The information in this article is intended to be general in nature. Plan to discuss your particular circumstances with an attorney for how this might apply to you.)