Hurricane Michael has been wreaking havoc for the past few days in the Southeast, hitting the coast of the Florida Panhandle as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of up to 155 mph. It has already destroyed thousands of homes and communities in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, leaving an estimated $8 billion in damages and a death toll of at least 11.
The monster storm, the most intense tropical cyclone to strike the United States since Andrew back in 1992, is not over yet, and is now menacing residents in Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. But it is time to start rebuilding for communities already affected.
When Can I Go Back Home?
If you were advised to evacuate, wait for official instructions before heading back home. We understand the urge to assess the damage that could’ve been caused to your property, but your safety should always come first. Florida Governor, Rick Scott has urged Florida residents to “stay inside and take the necessary precautions, even after the winds have died down.”
As the National Hurricane Survival Initiative reminds residents of affected areas on its website, “wind and and water damage and the lack of potable water, sanitary facilities and electricity can make returning home inadvisable.”
While you might not be able to return home immediately after the hurricane, or even for a long time, it is important that, as soon as you’re allowed by authorities, you go back to evaluate the damages, particularly the water damage. The longer you wait to get a restoration company out to assess your property, the worse the damage and the associated costs could be.
Take a look at our helpful infographic below, it will give you tips on things to watch out for as you make your way back to your hurricane-damaged property.