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Hurricane & Storm Damage FAQ's

Preparation up front can prevent hurricane damage later. Informing yourself on your vulnerability to flooding and wind can allow you to prepare in advance of any storms. Simple actions you take before the storm can help save lives and property.

  • Know your hurricane risk. What is involved in determing your hurricane risk? Things such as where you are located in relation to the coast, the structure of your home and your personal health all make up your risk profile. Even if you live inland, you are at risk for wind, thunderstorms and flooding. Also consider that hurricanes tend to knock out power lines, causing widespread power outages no matter where you are located in relation to the coast. Want to see your property’s projected risk to hurricane and flood damage? Visit FEMA’s website.
  • Stay informed. During hurricane season, make sure to keep an ear to the weather reports on the local media stations. You can also get a NOAA All Hazards Receiver, which will broadcast alerts directly from the National Weather Service. You can also sign up to receive email, text message, web, Twitter or Facebook storm alerts from
  • Know how to evacuate and whereIndian River County has provided a hurricane preparedness page that details a emergency preparedness guide and videos. Once you have evacuated, you need to identify where you will go. Think about friends or family that live out of Indian River County that you could stay with. Make arrangements with them now for emergency situations. If you do not have anyone out of town, you can view a map of RedCross Emergency Shelters.
  • Store supplies. Make supplies easy to grab and prepare in advance what you will need to take. Take the time to make a list of things you need or want in case you had to leave in a rush. Make up a “Emergency bag” or some other container to store these in.

We want you to protect yourself from hurricane damage as much as possible in the weeks leading up to the beginning of hurricane season. Utilize our Emergency Planning Services to make sure your business is ready for any storms that threaten Indian River County.

When the weather computer models start showing a hurricane is coming to Indian River County, you better be prepared. Winds generated from a hurricane can range from 74 mph to 160 mph. While a hurricane isn’t considered “major” until it hits 111 mph, even a small hurricane can cause damage to roofs, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. A category 1( minimum 74 mph winds) can cause large branches to snap and shallow rooted trees to uproot as well as knock down power lines.

Your focus in preparing your property for hurricane winds is to reinforce and strengthen the structure. Specifically, you want to consider the following parts of your home or business for hurricane wind damage preparation:

  • Windows. If you do not have impact resistant windows, then you will need to make sure you have storm shutters ready to go to protect the windows of your home or business. If the storm is coming and you don’t have the time to worry about storm shutters, you can laminate the glass with a thin film to keep the glass from shattering or board up the windows with 5/8 inch plywood. No matter what you’ve heard in the past, tape does not keep windows from breaking.
  • Garage door. Make sure you have storm resistant garage doors or visit a home supply store to by retrofitting that will help your garage door be more ready for the wind.
  • Roof. Roof failures can be a big deal. Make sure you have metal brackets and straps between the roof and wall systems. Florida building code covers most homes and business built in the last 10 years, however, if you live in an older home, it might be time to have a licensed contractor come out and evaluate the hurricane readiness of your home or business.
  • Outside the home or business. Patio furniture, tools, garbage cans and toys can all become hazardous flying debris in 75 mph winds. Make sure any storage sheds you might have a properly anchored as well as any gas grills or propane tanks. Also consider trimming trees that are large enough to fall on your home or business.

With new storms developing all the time out in the Atlantic, it’s important to be prepared for the next hurricane strike. However, if the storm is not strong enough to evacuate for or if you do not have time to evacuate, here are some tips on what do do during a hurricane.

  • Stay in Touch. Listening to the radio, tv or accessing your local news outlet on the internet are important during the time of a hurricane. You can get information on if the storm has increased in strengh, where the storm is tracking and when it is expected to be over.
  • Secure your home. Before the storm approaches, make sure you have your hurricane shutters or window protection installed. Also think about any loose debris around your home that could become an issue during high winds like patio furniture, garden decor or items that are not secured. You don’t want any of those items coming through a window or ruining your back porch screen!
  • Turn off utilities during the storm. Turning off your utilities during the storm lessens your chance of electricity finding you through standing water in the case that the electrical system in your house is compromised. Turning off the water helps prevent flooding from your plumbing potentially becoming compromised during the storm. Make sure to set your refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep the doors to it closed so your food with last longer.
  • Make sure you have plenty of water. It can be very common for the city water to be shut off after a hurricane. You’ll need water not only for drinking but for sanitizing. You’ll need water for flushing toilets, cleaning yourself and for cooking. One tip is to fill your bathtub with water so you have a store ready in case the water is shut off.

For those of us that just experienced Hurricane Irma, looking around at the mess of your yard and hearing the news reports… you might just wonder… what should I be doing after a hurricane?

  • Stay in touch. Remember that your friends and family out-of-county and out-of-state are also hearing the news reports. Make sure you are using all forms of communication (telephone, text, social media) to reach out and let your loved ones know you are safe. Then make sure you communicate what you need. Start having them work on supplies you need as soon as you can.
  • Don’t walk in flood waters. With hurricanes come flooding most of time. Do not walk in flood waters! Only 6 inches of flood water can knock you down. Rapidly moving waters can actually move a car! Also be aware that the winds of a hurricane might have knocked down power lines. Electricity and water are a dangerous combination. You don’t want to get shocked by water that has been exposed to electricity.
  • Report damage. Don’t assume that your neighbors have reported downed power lines, sewer breaks, washed out roads or other public utility damage. The sooner authorities know about damage, the more it helps them plan to repair it. Always report damage to public roads, public utility and power immediately!
  • Take inventory. Once it is safe to go outside your home (if you hunkered down) or get access to your home (if you evacuated), make sure you photography and document all damages to your home and belongings for insurance claims. Once all damage has been documented, then start the cleanup process. Only cleanup what can be done safely! Call professionals for roof damage, water damage, flood damage or mold damage.
  • Contact your insurance agent. You want to start the process of filing a claim as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of the hurricane, your insurance office will be very busy processing claims. You will want to check your coverage and get your spot in line.

What Do I Do When My Home Loses Power?

Watch this informative video for some great tips:

Health Risks From Flood Waters

If you do have flood waters from hurricane damage, there are many serious health risks that flood waters can bring. Be aware of the potential risks and hazards!

  • Electric shock. As mentioned previously, downed power lines that are underwater can create electrical current. If you touch this water, you can be exposed to electric shock that can cause potentially life threatening injuries.
  • Diseases from open wounds. If you sustained any open wounds from cleaning up yard debris or repairing your home and you tread through flood waters, you could be opening up yourself up to harmful viruses, infections and diseases from contaminated water. If you do need to wade through flood waters, make sure you are wearing proper protective gear.
  • Sharp objects. Structural damage caused to buildings and cars can cause sharp objects such as nails, broken glass, metal and other sharp objects to be hidden in the flood waters. If there is a current to the flood waters, you can be cut or injured from these objects. Make sure to wear protective shoes and pants before walking through flood waters.
  • Unstable structures. Make sure you have the proper clearance from authorities before you enter damaged homes or businesses.
  • Chemical poisoning. Oil, gas leaks, pesticides will all most likely be present in flood waters. As the waters rise, household chemicals and damaged cars will contaminate the waters. It is important to know the signs of chemical poisoning! They are:
    • Headaches
    • Skin rashes
    • Diarrhea
    • Confusion / disoriented
    • Difficult to breathe
    • Muscle twitches
  • Fecal matter. As septic tanks become compromised and public utilities become unavailable due to flood waters, fecal bacterial from both humans and animals can contaminate flood waters. Contact with these flood waters can cause gastroenteritis, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. You can come in contact by simply wading through flood waters.
  • Displaced wildlife. Just like you, animals are under stress during natural disasters! Not only are your house pets under stress, but so are wildlife. Since they are stressed, wildlife might be more apt to attack than normal. Flood waters also give more access to animals such as alligators, snakes and even fire ants that float!

Getting Back to Normal After a Hurricane

Flooding, hurricane damage and debris can sometimes take over a month to restore your community. Extra patience for public utilities restoring power, for your neighbors trying to secure water and for police trying to bring organization to the debris cluttered roads goes a long way! You can assist the cleanup efforts by organizing your debris piles by plant life, wood, metal, etc to help public workers picking up debris. You can bring the lineman that are out of state working to restore your power some water or snacks. You can notify your local police department of any road blockages. Even though you are stressed from the effects of a hurricane, try to make a larger impact in your community by working together. Call ServiceMaster by Glenn’s to help you with your water, fire, mold or flood damage after a hurricane is just one thing you can do to relieve your stress! 

So you’ve sustained some hurricane damage. Depending on the severity of the hurricane, FEMA and have some recommendations on how to handle being displaced or for those who need longer-term housing needs while the experts handle clean up after a hurricane.

  • If you have become separated from your family, contact the American Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit the American Red Cross Safe and Well site at (The American Red Cross also maintains a database to help you find family. Contact the local American Red Cross chapter where you are staying for information. Do not contact the chapter in the disaster area.)
  • If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
  • If you cannot return home and have immediate housing needs, text SHELTER + your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345).
  • For those who have longer-term housing needs, FEMA offers several types of assistance, including services and grants to help people repair their homes and find replacement housing.
  • Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges. Stay off the streets. If you must go out watch for fallen objects, downed electrical wires, and weakened walls, bridges, roads and sidewalks.
  • Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
  • Walk carefully around the outside your home and check for loose power lines, gas leaks and structural damage before entering.
  • Stay out of any building if you smell gas, if floodwaters remain around the building or if your home was damaged by fire and the authorities have not declared it safe.
  • Inspect your home for damage. Take pictures of damage, both of the building and its contents, for insurance purposes. If you have any doubts about safety, have your residence inspected by a qualified building inspector or structural engineer before entering.
  • Watch your pets closely and keep them under your direct control. Watch out for wild animals, especially poisonous snakes. Use a stick to poke through debris.
  • Avoid drinking or preparing food with tap water until you are sure it’s not contaminated.
  • Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.
  • Wear protective clothing and be cautious when cleaning up to avoid injury.
  • Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
  • Never use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off.

Contact ServiceMaster By Glenn’s for to clean up after a hurricane. We specialize in disaster restoration. Our 24/7 emergency hotline is always ready to meet your hurricane clean up needs: 772-567-4435.

Florida is known for its beaches. Who does not want to live on the beach or close to it? However, for most of us, owning a home on the beach can be cost-prohibitive due to the expense of the land and cost of special construction to withstand hurricanes and storms. For this reason, condominiums have become very popular up and down the coast of Florida.

However, condo damage does happen. Unlike typical home ownership where you can get a homeowners policy that covers the property and all the contents, there are different types of insurance policies that are available for condo damage. These two types are:

  • Bare Walls-In. Covers all real property from the exterior framing inward, but does not cover the fixtures and installations within the condo unit. So, things like granite countertops, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, and the flooring are not covered by the master policy. This condo owner will probably have the greatest coverage need.
  • All-in. Covers fixtures, installations or additions within the interior surfaces of the perimeter walls, floors and ceilings of individual units.
  • Association Deductible. If there is major condo damage to the structure of the building (roof, walls etc) that is outside of your condo, this will have to be covered by a commercial insurance deductible that is split among all condo owners. It is important to determine how much that deductible is.

One thing to remember is to make sure you have both content and structure insurance to cover condo damage. Content insurance content includes: furniture, area rugs, electronics, etc. Structure insurance includes cabinetry, countertops, carpeting, lighting, etc. Basically, anything that is not attached to the structure is content, everything that is attached is structure.

If you own a condo, and experience condo damage such as water damage, fire damage or mold damage, we are here to help 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Give us a call and we will provide you with an estimate and start working quickly to get you back to enjoying your condo again!

As we enter into the summer season and enjoy the warm weather and water, one thing we should be reminded of is hurricane season has also started. Here at Service Master by Glenn’s, we have come up with a list of the most common items that are damaged when a hurricane does hit close to home and how to protect your home from these disastrous scenarios.
Most common types of hurricane damage:
  •  Broken windows and doors. Depending on the age of your home and building codes majority of homes do not have impact glass and some do not even have storm shutters. A broken window during a hurricane can cuse all kinds of damage from flooding from rain, to wind damage from items being blown around inside the house to electrical fires. The same is true for doors. Code requirements require that all exterior doors open out rather than in to reduce the chances of failure and the door getting blown in. It is important to look into getting some type of window protection to protect both your family and your property from becoming damaged.
  • Moisture Damage. When you add in high wind and and lots of rain, water can get into many places it normally doesnt. Water can find any crack, space, or hole to enter and cause water damage in areas that have not been previously an issue. It is important to inspect all areas of the home including the attic, walls, garage etc for any type of water intrusion. If you suspect that there may be water intrusion in your home, give us a call as soon as possible to reduce any type of moisture damage.
  • Blown off Siding. The siding on our houses look good and do a great job protecting our homes from the exterior elements. However during a hurricane the sideing can become damaged or even completely destroyed by projectiles or wind. It is important to remember that if this does happen that inspect the interior walls as well as the exterior walls for any type of water damamge that may have occured. This left over water or moisture in the walls can not only cause wood to rot, look ugly buy also cause mold to build up which is a real health hazard for you and your family.
  • Septic Tank / Sewage Backup. As the rain comes down and begins to fill up all the lakes, rivers, streams, storm sewers and other areas the chance of a sewage or septic tank backup increase greatly. On newer homes a device is installed to potentially prevent this from happening but if your home does not have a sewage backup preventer installed or is not working correctly this can be a real nightmare as a raw sewage cleanup can become very hazardus. Walls and flooring has to be ripped out and replaced, sweage needs to be cleaned up and can become very costly!
If your home is damaged by a hurricane, ServiceMaster is here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year by calling 772-567-4435. Let us help get your home back to normal after hurricane damage— fast.

There are many things that you can do to prevent a disaster from happening during a hurricane. If a disaster does happen to your property, there are things that you should take into consideration to insure it.  Did you know that most insurers will not write a homeowners policy if a hurricane is within a certain distance from the US mainland? It is important to ensure that you are adequately covered in the event damage does happen to your home.  Some things to ask yourself are:

1. Do you have adequate fire / structural damage coverage to replace your property in the even that it does become damaged or destroyed?

2. Do you know what your deductible is for your homeowners insurance? Do you know what the difference between Hurricane and Non-Hurricane deductible is and what deductible cost difference is?

3. Flood insurance is NOT covered by the standard homeowners insurance. Do you live in a flood zone that requires this and if so do you have the necessary coverage?

Anytime a structure is damaged during a hurricane most of the time its an opportunity for leaks and water to penetrate the ceiling, walls and other areas of your house. If this does happen and it is not taken care of properly and quickly, the cost can be as much or even more to repair than the structural damage alone! Here at ServiceMaster by Glenn’s, we would like to remind you that you take the time to review the coverage that you have and ensure that you are fully covered if these events should occur. If you have any questions or would like us to come and inspect your business, home or other structure for mold, water damage or even fire damage, give us a call and we will be happy to inspect and take care of this issue for you. We will even work with the insurance company so you don’t have to.


Disaster Preparation / Business Continuity FAQ's

Hurricanes present a variety of threats… Heavy rainfall, storm surges, inland flooding, high winds, tornados and rip currents. Before a hurricane strikes, it is important to carefully map prepare in case of disaster. The amount of planning done upfront plays a significant role in the post-storm cleaning.

To have proper disaster recovery plan, homeowners should plan ahead with these few easy steps:

  • Evacuation route – Identify two meeting places: one right outside the home and another outside the neighborhood in case access to the home is cut off. Make sure everyone knows the address and phone number of the second meeting place.
  • Prepare vehicles for long distance travel – Fill vehicles’ gas tanks and make sure to have a car charger for cell phones.
  • Have an out-of-state contact – Identify an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the official family contact person, and be sure all family members have his/her contact information.
  • Plan for your pets – Make a plan now for what to do with pets in an evacuation.  There are very few shelters and hotels that will allow pets.  Photograph them and make sure they are wearing ID collars in case they are lost during the storm.
  • Protect valuables from water damage – Photograph and/or video the interior and exterior of the home for a record of all valuables. Store important documents in a waterproof container.
  • Purchase a battery-operated radio – Since most telephones will be out of order when the storm hits, a weather radio is the best source of information.  Consider purchasing a generator and fuel in case of long term electrical loss.
  • Stock emergency supplies – Have a week’s supply of water, plenty of nonperishable food items and refill necessary prescriptions for family members, including pets.
  • Protect property – Close and board up windows with plywood, remove outside antennas, trim trees of dead wood and clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts.  Remove any loose items in your yard and place patio furniture in a garage or storage unit.
  • Know how to shut off utilities – In the event electricity is lost, turn off the main switches in the circuit breaker box. Turn all household appliances off before leaving the home.
  • Review insurance coverage – Understand what deductibles are in place for hurricane damage. Consider obtaining flood insurance, since homeowner’s policies do not cover water damage from a hurricane.

ServiceMaster By Glenn’s understands disaster recovery. If you have recently experienced damage resulting from a storm, contact us.

Make sure your business is prepared if disaster strikes and have a disaster plan ready.

Key Components of a Disaster Plan For Your Business:

  • Define critical business functions. Take a moment to sit down and evaluate what are the most critical functions in your business. Critical business functions can be defined as activities that are vital to the survival of your business and will allow for the resumption of business operations after a disaster.
    • Criteria for Critical Business Functions:
    • What business functions are most sensitive to periods of downtime?
    • What business functions are needed to fulfill legal or financial obligations to keep cash coming in?
    • Which business functions are needed to maintain market share and reputation?
    • Which business functions are needed to safeguard irreplaceable assets? (example: secret recipe)
  • Prepare disaster recovery kits. Things get hectic when disaster strikes, make sure you have disaster recovery kits available within easy access so you can provide the information to police and insurance companies.
    • Consider developing grab and go kits for the following types of critical business information:
    • Important records (insurance policies, fixed asset inventory, contracts, employee information)
    • Computer systems and software (software installation disks, software licensing keys, hardware serial numbers)
    • Emergency items (cash, water, maps, emergency food supply, radio, flashlights, batteries, first aid kits, whistle, can opener, blankets)
    • Sanitation (dust filter/masks, moist towelettes, garbage bags, paper towels)
    • Tools (duck tape, knife, wrench or pliers, screwdriver, lighter/matches)

We here at ServiceMaster By Glenn’s want you to be as prepared as possible when disaster strikes. We can assist in help you putting together a disaster plan for your business

What you do in the first few minutes of an emergency is critical. Making sure you have action plans in place to warn employees or family members to evacuate or get shelter can save lives. Here are some steps to take into consideration when putting together an emergency response plan:

  1. Conduct a risk assessment. Look for vulnerabilities or weaknesses that might make your home or business more at risk to sustaining damage. Examples of this might be looking at the shape your home or business is in (faults in building construction), security of your home or business and maintenance of loss prevention (such as fire sprinklers).
  2. Setup times to practice emergency drills. Conduct fire drills, make sure to educate on where the safest shelters are in your home or building (such as maybe under the stairs or in a bathroom with no windows) and have your family and employees know how to do basic CPR.
  3. Have a plan to protect you investments. Make sure you have valuable files close at hand, think about the processes that need to go in place so windows can be quickly protected from high winds and think about what tools and supplies you might need for cleanup and survival after a storm.

These are just a few things to consider when it comes to setting up an emergency response plan. ServiceMaster By Glenn’s offers a comprehensive disaster planning service that will help you make sure your home or business is protected against the worst.

As the saying goes, “better safe than sorry.”
By developing an emergency preparedness plan, your business can be better prepared in the event of a hurricane here in Vero Beach.
Having a preparedness plan in place ensures that your employees will know what steps to take in a hurricane. In addition to providing disaster restoration services after a hurricane, ServiceMaster Recovery Management also helps you plan in advance of a hurricane with our Pre-Loss Planning Guide.
Our staff can help walk you through:

  • Obtaining executive support
  • Creating a planning committee
  • Reviewing your insurance policy
  • Partnering with local authorities
  • Assessing your capital assets
  • Preserving vital records
  • Analyzing impact on your business and risks

Rest assured that we have the experience in dealing with hurricane damage, along with a proven process in order to minimize business interruption, mitigate claim severity and give you peace of mind.

Prevention goes a long way toward protecting lives, saving buildings and redeeming the billions of dollars spent on repairs. Call us today to request our free Pre-Loss Planning Guide or to schedule a meeting to discuss your preparedness plans.

Every day, most of us travel between our homes and our work location. It is logical to think about preparing a disaster recovery plan for a disaster that might occur at home or at work…. but what happens if we experience a natural disaster (such as tornado, flooding or fire) while commuting to or from work?

So how do you prepare a commuter disaster recovery plan? Consider the following details so you can make sure you have planned out alternative routes to get home safely.

  • Look at public transportation that might exist between your home and work. Most of us here in the Treasure Coast utilize a car to drive between our destinations. In case of a disaster that might occur at your work or your home, take the time to print out the schedules of all the public transportation outlets nearby- such as bus routes, train schedules, ferry schedules or even the numbers of some local taxi’s.
  • Take a look at your daily route and see if any alternative routes exist. Roads get flooded, fallen trees might block the road or major highways might be become backed up with traffic in the case of a natural disaster. Take the time to sit down and identify alternate routes to get you to and from work, or if necessary, to get you out of Vero Beach (like in cases of a hurricane).

Put a packet of information together and have it handy, like in your wallet, car glove compartment or another safe place so you can access it in case of emergency. We all like to think we’ll have access to our phones during a natural disaster or emergency, but sometimes cell phone towers do get knocked down or compromised! Have everything printed out and where you can reach it so you have it when you need it most.

We here at ServiceMaster by Glenn’s can help you develop a disaster recovery plan not only for commuting, but for your business continuity as well after a disaster. Contact us today at 772-567-4435 to schedule an appointment with us to get your disaster recovery plan started.

Plan for a potential loss by putting some forethought into loss scenarios before they occur.  Your disaster recovery planning and business continuation committee must reflect a holistic approach including input from all departments of the organization.  This will allow each department to share their concerns to assure proper communication.

The business continuation committee’s tasks should include the following:

  • A review of all insurance policies and documents to avoid surprises that can be encountered in the aftermath of a catastrophic event.  Review your policy carefully.
  • In the hours following a catastrophic event, whether fire, regional flood or hurricane damage there is a strong likelihood that government authorities will become involved in the emergency response.  The plan needs to reflect how these agencies may impact the recovery of your business.
  • Prepare a Capital Asset Inventory list describing in detail each piece of equipment and machinery.  Each item should be identified by type, manufacturer, age and original cost.
  • Vital Records and Documents must be duplicated and stored safely offsite.  Back-up computer files every day.
  • The business continuation committee must work with the accounting department to perform a Business Impact Analysis.  This will help to determine the “real dollar” value of the business.
  • Gather data for a hazard analysis or risk analysis so team members will know their responsibilities and be familiar with the sense of urgency required.  An effective plan will contain a range of possible disasters and determine the potential impact associated with each disaster.
  • The possibility of relocation whether short term or long term must be addressed.

ServiceMaster by Glenn’s will assist you in the aftermath of your loss and throughout the insurance process, restoring your business as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

Disasters Happen… and when they do, they are potentially an enormous threat to the structure and it’s contents.  Loss and damage can be avoided by formulating a disaster plan- also called a business continuity plan– and taking necessary preventative measures.  Preparing a disaster recovery plan can save lives, property and in many cases- an entire business. Developing a business continuity plan is especially important here in Vero Beach where we are subject to natural disasters such as hurricanes and flooding.

The goals of a business continuity plan or contingency plan should include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Minimize interruptions to business operations
  • Limit the severity of the disruption
  • Establish alternative means of operation
  • Resume critical operations within a specified time after a disaster
  • Expedite the restoration of services
  • Assure customers that their interests are protected
  • Maintain a positive image of the organization
  • Minimize financial loss
  • Train personnel and familiarize them with emergency operations
  • Establish awareness

Need help drafting a business continuity plan? Contact ServiceMaster By Glenn’s today by calling 772-567-4435 and we’ll get you prepared and organized for the next disaster.