Imperative to document property amid start of hurricane season

It’s never too early to prepare for the next big storm. With Southwest Florida in its first forecast cone of the hurricane season Tuesday, many people are remembering what they went through during Hurricane Irma. While the storm is not forecast to be as strong as Irma, the time is now to get ready.

It’s imperative to get pictures on record of your property ahead of the possibility for damages that could occur during hurricane season.

Families’ at Island Park know this well, since their homes were hit hard during Hurricane Irma in 2017.

Because of the previous devastation, people we spoke to told us they’re staying on top of their storm prep.

“As a result of Irma, I have a newfound respect and little more dread,” Michael Anderson said.

Irma caught Anderson’s family in the middle of a home renovation.

“We were totally gut renovating it, and this happened in the middle of the gut renovation,” Anderson said. “So, in some ways, it was bad because our house wasn’t fully protected.”

Fortunately, because of the remodeling, he caught pictures of their home on camera.

“Luckily, we had a lot of pictures,” Anderson said. “It was a little bit of a unique situation.”

Without those photos, insurance claims can be even more devastating.

Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis is warning homeowners now, with a tropical system in the Atlantic to document it all.

“Go get your smart phone,” Patronis said. “Everybody’s got one. “Go take a video of the outside of your house. Take photos and videos of your floor coverings, your wall coverings. Get this little piece of video documentation and email it to yourself.”

“I’ve already taken those pictures,” BJ Brundage said.

Brundage in Cape Coral knows how critical that photo evidence is after she braved Hurricane Charley in her daughters’ home.

“So we ended up in my daughter’s house, hiding in a closet,” Brundage said. “And had a six-weeks-old grandbaby with me and a couple of little toddlers.”

Their family watched as parts of the garage flew away.

Brundage’s advice is take photos of everything, everything you never thought you’d lose, even the garage door.

“I have everything ready in my camera in case we were to get hit,” Brundage said.

The idea is to capture proof of what you own and what condition it’s in. That means every angle and retaking these pictures every so often before a storm hits.

Reporter:Anika Henanger
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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