Jacksonville Property Management Blog

Hurricane Preparedness

Tiea Vincent - Tuesday, February 11, 2020

My name is Tiea Vincent and I'm the broker and owner of Roundtable Property Management. Today we're gonna discuss what the process is prior to and after a hurricane hits Florida. So we're watching the Weather Channel and hurricane is coming. 

The first step we're gonna do is we're going to contact her homeowners and we're going to contact our tenants and give them some information. When we contact our tenants we're going to give them a list of shelters. We're gonna give them a list of their evacuation zones and a list of their evacuation routes. We always, always recommend to our tenants if they are in a mandatory evacuation zone that they do, in fact, evacuate. Please do not stay and please do not leave your animals. 

Then we ask the tenants to do two things for us. If they're evacuating, please let us know so we can add them to a list of properties to do drop by inspections immediately after the storm. We also ask them to go outside and remove any items that can become projectiles like bicycles or lawn furniture or big large branches. Remove those from the yard so that we don't have any window damage. We also ask them to take exterior photos of the property. At Roundtable Property Management. We do drop by inspections on all of our single family homes every six to eight weeks. So oftentimes we have the most current photos, but it's always good to have them in case an insurance claim is needed. If the home is vacant, we will go out and we will survey the yard and make sure that all items are picked up, put into the garage and there are no large branches out. 

One of the big questions we always get is I have a pool. Do I need to drain it? It is not recommended that you drain your pool. Oftentimes, pools are set up in a way that they have an automatic drain system, should they overflow. When a hurricane comes in and dumps so much water into the ground, the water table raises. If you have drained your pool, it is possible that your pool can actually pop out of the ground. I don't know if you've ever seen one of those pop, but it's not very pretty. 

After the hurricane is passed, we will start doing our inspections. We go to our vacant homes first, since there is no one there to tell us if there's active damage. Then we go to the homes that tenants have let us know that they have evacuated and then we start doing the inspections on the occupied homes. Oftentimes, the most damage that we see here in Jacksonville is mostly fence damage, maybe a small roof leak here and there. Most the time it's because the rain was going sideways. We haven't seen a lot of damage here in the last couple of storms. But if there is damage, we are able to take care of the insurance claim. But it's important for our homeowners to know their options when it comes to their insurance and whether or not they need to make a claim or not. 

We always recommend that you find out what your hurricane deductible is. Most of the time between 2 and 3 percent of the home's value, which can get up into the tens of thousands of dollars sometimes. We recommend if that's the case that prior to any storms coming or before hurricane season, you contact your insurance company and see if they offer a hurricane deductible insurance plan. This is a small plan that runs between 100 and 200 dollars a year and it will cover the 2 to 3 percent deductible. Should a named storm hit your home? If the damage is less than your deductible, we always recommend that we just use a handyman and get it fixed. Small fences falling, small roof leaks typically are under five or six hundred dollars and can be taken care of without an insurance claim. If you have any questions about Roundtable's hurricane processes, please feel free to reach out to me or give me a call. 

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