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Hurricane Season0

As many of you know, I live in Florida.  And right now we’re pretty much right in the middle of hurricane season.

It’s been quite an active year.  To give you an idea of what I mean, here’s the list of Atlantic hurricane names for 2010: 

      • Alex
      • Bonnie
      • Colin
      • Danielle
      • Earl
      • Fiona
      • Gaston
      • Hermine
      • Igor
      • Julia
      • Karl
      • Lisa
      • Matthew
      • Nicole
      • Otto
      • Paula
      • Richard
      • Shary
      • Tomas
      • Virginie
      • Walter

At the moment, we’re watching Nicole fizzle out from a tropical storm to a low pressure system that is currently soaking the East Coast, Florida to Maine.  So far, nothing has hit Florida (knock on wood).

I’ve been through 4 hurricanes in my lifetime.  All were quite impressive and scary.  And the damage to a home caused by these storms can sometimes be very extensive.

Instead of describing the wealth of destruction that can happen to a house during a hurricane, I dug up a few videos.

This first example is an advertisement.  But it contains excellent images of water damage:

And here’s the force of nature that causes all of that damage:

After one of the four hurricanes I’ve been involved with, I ended up doing volunteer work in Homestead, Florida for a week.  It was (and still is) the worst thing I’ve ever seen.  In another case, my house suffered just shy of $20,000 in damage.

A lot of the repair work was done by my (then) wife and myself along with friends.  But it was a tough road and took quite some time—even when we called in professionals for some areas, such as the porch (it was caved in by two very large trees).

We lucked out in that our insurance covered much of the damage.  But I suspect today’s market may not be so kind.

First thing to remember – protect yourself from a hurricane before it hits.  The National Hurricane Center has lots of great information about how to be prepared.  They say that securing areas of your house where wind can enter is the most important. 

So, if you live in an area threatened by hurricanes, be ready.  And if you aren’t, be ready to pull out your chainsaw and a plethora of other tools— including your wallet.   

by John Barker

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