Showing posts with label hurricane. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hurricane. Show all posts

Practice Makes Perfect

It's been a year now since we lost our wonderful dog. We still miss her terribly, hug your pet today.

And, on to more mundane activities. A few minutes after our 5:30am alarm clock went off, we heard the crackle of the power transformer outside and the power was out. Apparently it will be out all morning. Lucky us, out of half of million people in Tampa, we're one of the 31 households with no power. Across the street still has power, and over a block has power - just not our side of the block.
However, I'm going to look at this as a lucky practice run for the summer lightning, storms and hurricanes that probably will affect us again. We happen to have dozens of glade candles still in the stock pile room for gifts, but they turned out to be handy for light this morning. We also have a couple plug in flashlights. Luckily, no activities requiring water involve electricity - except the coffee which DH had set on a timer to be completed at 5:25am. I thought we would be ready quicker than usual, but indecision on plan B for breakfast with no microwave or toaster, made cold cereal the choice. We took our real breakfast - a hard boiled egg and turkey bacon to work to eat later - minus the toast. The thought crossed my mind if we should get a generator someday, since we do have 3 refrigerators and a chest freezer full of food if there were a long outage, but I think I'll do that after about 24 hours of no power. We could always store stuff at our neighbors house across the street, since they still have power.

So,  a little list of Hurricane preparedness things to do when you lose power.
  1. Candles and flashlight. Also need a lighter or match handy to light that candle.
  2. You could preprogram the electric company into your phone, they let you text when your power is out. In Tampa, if you have TECO just text OUT to 35069.
  3. Don't open your refrigerator or freezer, and if you must make it quick.
  4. Unplug electronics that may be damaged from a power surge when power is restored.
  5. Keep window coverings down to prevent sun from heating up the house.
  6. Minimize opening doors to outside, keep the cool air trapped in your home.

We managed to get ready and eat and get to work, all without power in the house. Amazing.


2017 Florida Hurricane Sales Tax Holiday 6/2 - 6/4/2017




The 2017 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday begins at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, June 2, 2017, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, June 4, 2017. During this holiday period, qualifying items related to disaster preparedness are exempt from sales tax. However, the sales tax holiday does not apply to the rental or repair of any of the qualifying items. Additionally, the sales tax holiday does not apply to sales in a theme park, entertainment complex, public lodging establishment, or airport.


Qualifying Items
Selling for $10 or less:- Reusable ice (reusable ice packs)

Selling for $20 or less:- Any portable self-powered light source (powered by battery, solar, hand-crank, or gas):

Flashlights Lanterns Candles

Selling for $25 or less:- Any gas or diesel fuel container, including LP gas and kerosene containers

Selling for $30 or less:- Batteries, including rechargeable batteries, listed sizes only (excluding automobile and boat batteries):

AA-cell C-cell D-cell 6-volt 9-volt - Coolers and ice chests (food-storage; nonelectrical)

Selling for $50 or less:- Tarpaulins (tarps)- Visqueen, plastic sheeting, plastic drop cloths, and other flexible waterproof sheeting - Ground anchor systems

- Tie-down kits- Bungee cords - Ratchet straps- Radios (powered by battery, solar, or hand-crank)
Two-way Weather band
Selling for $750 or less:- Portable generators used to provide light or communications, or to preserve food in the event of a power outage.


First-aid kits (always exempt)



See more Information at LINK

How Prepared Are You For A Hurricane?

 
The weather news is all about Hurricane Matthew that is bearing down on the Florida Atlantic coast. Matthew is stirring down in the Caribbean now and has Florida solidly in the forecast cone. While this system will probably not impact Tampa Bay (other than some wind and rain), it is still a good time to get ready for what ever the rest of the season brings us. Are you ready for a hurricane to happen now? Here are some checklist items to help you prepare for a storm -
  •  Do you have plenty of cash in small bills stashed in the event there is no power, or you need to barter to get things you need during a disaster? Most ATM's will run out of cash, businesses may not be open and your best bet to buy stuff will be from people hawking stuff on the corner - for cash.
  • Do you have plenty of dry food (cans, dry mixes, dry milk, beverage mixes, pet food), enough for a weeks worth of meals? Make sure you have an old fashioned manual can opener too, or be sure all your cans are pop tops.
  • Do you have water or drinks enough for 3 days (at least a gallon a day per person)? This doesn't include bathing or cooking water, so a clean source of water for that is important too - fill your tub or sink for cleaning.
  • Do you have a bug out bag in case you need to leave your home - a change of clothes, cash, medications, sturdy shoes (not just sandals), silverware,etc.
  • Do you have a weapon to protect your life and/or property in the event of a disaster and there are no police services?
  • Do you have your automobile's full of gasoline, a spare 5 gallon can of gas, a full canister of propane for your grill?
  • Do you have flashlights and batteries that work? First Aid kit?
  • Do you have some basic tools, keys, portable Radio and Telephones?
  • Are your important documents secured in a waterproof safe or in a safety deposit box at the bank? Can you scan them and take the data device with you?
The www.weather.org site has the most up to date information.

List of States with Tax Free School Shopping Days

 
School is starting just around the corner, and its time for the annual tax free shopping weekend all over the nation. Some states even include Hurricane preparation items too! Here is a chart from Fed Tax Administrators that lists all the states participating. This year in Florida you can get the discount on laptops and computers too.


State
Days

Items Included

Maximum Cost
1st Year

2013
Dates

Information Links *
Alabama3hurricane preparedness
generators - $1,000
supplies - $60
2012February 22-24http://www.revenue.alabama.gov/
Alabama3clothing - $100
computers - $750
school supplies - $50
books - $30
2006August 2-4http://www.revenue.alabama.gov/
Arkansas2clothing - $100
school supplies
2011August 3-4http://www.dfa.arkansas.gov/
Connecticut
7
clothing and footwear - $300
2001
August 18-24http://www.ct.gov/
Florida3school supplies - $15
clothing - $75
computer - $750
2010+August 2-4http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/
Georgia2school supplies - $20
clothing - $100
computer - $1,000
2012+August 9-10https://etax.dor.ga.gov/
Georgia3energy and water efficient products - $1,5002012+October 4-6https://etax.dor.ga.gov/
Iowa
2
clothing - $100
2000
August 2-3http://www.iowaccess.org/tax/
Louisiana
2
all TPP - $2,500
2007
August 2-3http://www.revenue.louisiana.gov/
Louisiana
2
hurricane preparedness items - $1,500
2008
May 25-26http://www.revenue.louisiana.gov/
Louisiana
3
firearms, ammunition and hunting supplies
2009
September 6-8http://www.revenue.louisiana.gov/
Maryland3energy star products2011February 16-18http://www.comp.state.md.us/
Maryland7clothing & footwear-$1002010August 11-17http://www.marylandtaxes.com/
Mississippi
2
clothing & footwear - $100
2009
July 26-27http://www.dor.ms.gov/
Missouri7energy star products - $1,500 2009April 19-25http://dor.mo.gov/
Missouri3clothing - $100
computers - $3,500
school supplies - $50
2004August 2-4http://dor.mo.gov/
New Mexico3clothing - $100
computers - $1,000
computer equip. - $500
school supplies - $30
2005August 2-4http://www.tax.newmexico.gov
North Carolina
3
clothing - $100
school supplies - $100
instructional material - $300
computers - $3,500
other comp. - $250
sports equip - $50
2001
August 2-4http://www.dornc.com/
North Carolina
3
energy star products2009November 1-3http://www.dornc.com/
Oklahoma
3
clothing - $100
2007
August 2-4http://www.tax.ok.gov/
South Carolina
3
clothing
school supplies
computers
other
2000
August 2-4http://www.sctax.org/
Tennessee
3
clothing - $100
school supplies - $100
computers - $1,500
2006
August 2-4http://tn.gov/revenue/
Texas
3
energy star products
air conditioners - $6,000; other - $2,000
2008
May 25-27http://www.window.state.tx.us/
Texas
3
clothing, backpacks and school supplies- $100
1999
August 9-11http://www.window.state.tx.us/
Virginia7hurricane preparedness items - $60
generators - $1,000
2008May 25-31http://www.tax.virginia.gov/
Virginia3clothing - $100
school supplies - $20
2006August 2-4http://www.tax.virginia.gov/
Virginia4energy star products - $2,5002006October 11-14http://www.tax.virginia.gov/

Are You Ready For A Hurricane?

The weather news is starting to feature Tropical Updates since we've turned the corner into a busier time for storms. Isaac is stirring down in the Caribbean now and has Florida solidly in the forecast cone. While this system has only been declared a tropical storm, it is still a good time to get ready for what ever the rest of the season brings us. Are you ready for a hurricane to happen now? Here are some checklist items to help you prepare for a storm -
  •  Do you have plenty of cash in small bills stashed in the event there is no power, or you need to barter to get things you need during a disaster? Most ATM's will run out of cash, businesses may not be open and your best bet to buy stuff will be from people hawking stuff on the corner - for cash.
  • Do you have plenty of dry food (cans, dry mixes, dry milk, beverage mixes, pet food), enough for a weeks worth of meals? Make sure you have an old fashioned manual can opener too, or be sure all your cans are pop tops.
  • Do you have water or drinks enough for 3 days (at least a gallon a day per person)? This doesn't include bathing or cooking water, so a clean source of water for that is important too - fill your tub or sink for cleaning.
  • Do you have a bug out bag in case you need to leave your home - a change of clothes, cash, medications, sturdy shoes (not just sandals), silverware,etc.
  • Do you have a weapon to protect your life and/or property in the event of a disaster and there are no police services?
  • Do you have your automobile's full of gasoline, a spare 5 gallon can of gas, a full canister of propane for your grill?
  • Do you have flashlights and batteries that work? First Aid kit?
  • Do you have some basic tools, keys, portable Radio and Telephones?
  • Are your important documents secured in a waterproof safe or in a safety deposit box at the bank? Can you scan them and take the data device with you?
HERE is an excellent article outlining more detailed preparedness for a disaster.

Am I Covered?

Whenever we are in our backyard we see across the fence a huge, old tree in the middle of our neighbors backyard where the branches have started to fall off sometimes. When we were gone on vacation a couple weeks ago, we came home to find a branch had fallen into our backyard and broken a plank of fencing. It was negligible damage, but there is a bigger branch hanging over our yard that has me watching it closely (with my good eye).
 
We keep hoping the neighbor will trim the tree since branches are often falling into their backyard, but its unlikely since the owners bought the foreclosed house and have inconsistently had renters in it. Anyway, I happened to come across some information that will help us deal with the problem when it becomes a problem. The Federal Citizen Information Center has a handy guide outlining exactly what typical homeowners insurance policy (HO-3) covers.
 
As far as a tree falling -
- If the neighbor's tree fell on our fence or house, then our insurance will cover the damage and pay for the tree removal.
- If our (or our neighbor's) tree fell in our yard without hitting a structure, then we're on our own.
- If our tree fell on our house, then our insurance will cover the damage and pay for the tree removal.
- If our tree fell on our neighbor's house, then their insurance will cover the damage and pay for the tree removal.
In other words, if your property gets damaged, your insurance pays regardless of who the tree belonged to. But if the tree doesn't do any damage, insurance doesn't get involved.
Here are some other handy things to know -
 
A pipe bursts and water flows all over my floors. Am I covered?

Yes.
The HO-3 covers you for accidental discharge of water from a plumbing system. You should check your plumbing and heating systems once a year. While you are covered for damage, who needs the mess and hassle?
What if water seeps into my basement from the ground, am I covered?
No. Water seepage is excluded under the HO-3. And if the water seepage is not due to a flood you will not be covered under a flood policy. Seepage is viewed as a maintenance issue and is not covered by insurance. You should see a contractor about waterproofing your basement.
A neighbor slips on my sidewalk or falls down my porch steps and threatens to take me to court for damages. Does my policy protect me?
Yes. The policy will pay for damages, if a fall or other accident on your property is the result of your negligence. It will also pay for the legal costs of defending you against a claim. Also, the medical payments part of your homeowners policy will cover medical expenses, if a neighbor or guest is injured on your property. You should check to see how much liability protection you have. The standard amount is $100,000. If you feel you need more, consider purchasing higher limits.
A tree falls and damages my roof during a storm. Am I covered?
Yes. You are covered for the damage to your roof. You are also covered for the removal of the tree, generally up to a $500 limit. You should cut down dead or dying trees close to your house and prune branches that are near your house. It's true that your insurance covers damage, but falling trees and branches can also injure your family.
During a storm, a tree falls but does no damage to my property. Am I covered for the cost of removing the tree?
Your trees and shrubs are covered for losses due to risks like vandalism, theft and fire, but not wind damage. However, if a fallen tree blocks access to your home you may be covered for its removal. Decide if you need extra insurance for the trees, plants and shrubs on your property. You may be able to purchase extra insurance, which will not only cover the cost of removing fallen trees, but will also cover the cost of replacing trees, and other plants.
If a storm causes a power outage and all the food in my refrigerator or freezer is spoiled and must be thrown out, can I make a claim?
The general answer is no. However, there are a number of exceptions. In some states, food spoilage is covered under the homeowners policy. In addition, if the power loss is due to a break in a power line on or close to your property, you may be covered. You should check with your agent to find out whether you are covered for food spoilage in your state. If not, you can add food spoilage coverage to your policy for an additional premium.
I have children away at college. Are they covered by my homeowners insurance?
If they're full-time college students and part of your household, your insurance generally provides some coverage in a dorm, typically 10 percent of the contents limit. If they live off campus, some companies may not provide this limited coverage if the apartment is rented in the student's name.
My golf clubs are stolen from the trunk of my car. Does my homeowners policy cover the loss?
Yes. The HO-3 covers your personal property while it is anywhere in the world. However, if your golf clubs are old, you will only get their current value, which may not be enough to purchase a new set. Consider buying a replacement cost endorsement for your personal property. This way you will get what it costs to replace the golf clubs, less the applicable deductible.
 
Thanks to FCIC for questions and answers







How Ready Are You For A Hurricane?

The weather news is starting to feature Tropical Updates since we've turned the corner into a busier time for storms. Emily is stirring down in the Caribbean now and has Florida solidly in the forecast cone. While this system has not been declared a tropical storm or hurricane, it is still a good time to get ready for what ever the rest of the season brings us. Are you ready for a hurricane to happen now? Here are some checklist items to help you prepare for a storm -
 
  • Do you have plenty of cash in small bills stashed in the event there is no power, or you need to barter to get things you need during a disaster? Most ATM's will run out of cash, businesses may not be open and your best bet to buy stuff will be from people hawking stuff on the corner - for cash.
  • Do you have plenty of dry food (cans, dry mixes, dry milk, beverage mixes, pet food), enough for a weeks worth of meals? Make sure you have an old fashioned manual can opener too, or be sure all your cans are pop tops.
  • Do you have water or drinks enough for 3 days (at least a gallon a day per person)? This doesn't include bathing or cooking water, so a clean source of water for that is important too - fill your tub or sink for cleaning.
  • Do you have a bug out bag in case you need to leave your home - a change of clothes, cash, medications, sturdy shoes (not just sandals), silverware,etc.
  • Do you have a weapon to protect your life and/or property in the event of a disaster and there are no police services?
  • Do you have your automobile's full of gasoline, a spare 5 gallon can of gas, a full canister of propane for your grill?
  • Do you have flashlights and batteries that work? First Aid kit?
  • Do you have some basica tools, keys, portable Radio and Telephones?
  • Are your important documents secured in a waterproof safe or in a safety deposit box at the bank? Can you scan them and take the data device with you?
HERE is an excellent article outlining more detailed preparedness for a disaster.
 
I sure hope we manage to avoid the big one this year, and as I write this list I realize I'm not quite prepared. But I will be. Will you?

September is National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month, and this is to remind citizens that they can take steps to be prepared if there's a disaster. It's important to make a kit, make a plan, and stay informed. A survival kit includes basics like fresh water and food for up to three days, blankets, matches, battery-operated radios and lights. Checklists on what to include can be found on here
 
When preparing for a possible emergency situation, it's best to think first about the basics of survival:
fresh water, food, clean air and warmth.

Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers

Additional Items to Consider Adding to an Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Prescription medications and glasses
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container
  • Cash or traveler's checks and change
  • Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or information from www.ready.gov
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children