More days of darkness, heat: Florida hurricane recovery won’t be fast in the time of COVID-19
Source: Miami Herald
By: Adriana Brasileiro and Alexis Harris
Every year before hurricane season, Florida Power & Light and others on the front lines of disaster response make plans to bring reinforcements from other states to help if a big one hits. In the past, contractors and crews have come from as far away as Canada to aid local utility workers in getting homes back on the grid.
In the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, that may not happen.
The probable result: More days without power or internet, probably in sweltering summer heat.
Consider that in the best of scenarios, with a grid that had been fortified by billions in investments, it took FPL more than 10 days to restore power to some areas in Florida after Hurricane Irma. Nearly all its service area — 90 percent, or 4.4 million consumers — lost power.
This year, social-distancing measures and travel restrictions could dramatically change lots of things about hurricane recovery. Working with insurers, already a grueling and lengthy ordeal, may grind even slower from a shortage of adjusters.
Shelters, before and after storms, will have social-distancing rules and less room. The Red Cross, in fact, is urging residents who might be forced to evacuate to consider shelters as a last resort. Instead, they should make plans now to reduce the risk of a double disaster in the event of a hurricane strike — storm damage and a potential COVID-19 illness.
“Find a family member or a friend that’s outside the trajectory of the hurricane and shelter with them. If not, go to a hotel and spend the night in your own private room,” said Grace Meinhofer, a spokeswoman for the South Florida region.
Hurricane season is officially underway. It’s important to prepare before a disaster strikes especially if you live in hurricane-prone areas. Here are some essential tips to get started:
- Get an insurance checkup
- Take pictures of your home, inside and out.
- Keep a list of your valuables and important documentation
- Stock up on disaster/emergency supplies
Our attorneys and investigators are ready to provide you with a qualified review of your home insurance policy at no cost to you to make sure that you’re prepared for hurricane season.
If you have experienced an insurance loss from a major storm, don’t be surprised if the insurance company’s first reaction is to claim that your damage is due to some pre-existing condition or assert that your claim is not covered under the terms of your policy or even cancel your policy based on recently-discovered “errors” in your application. But don’t worry.
At ILG, our experienced and aggressive attorneys take the time to analyze and interpret your policy and understand the full measure of damages available to you. We work with construction experts, restoration professionals and others to determine the facts.
Don’t delay and contact us today for a free consultation in Florida. The Insurance Litigation Group will walk you through the terms of your insurance policy and help you recover the full extent of your covered losses.