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Returning Home after Hurricane Michael

Here are some things to consider if you’re Returning Home after Hurricane Michael… This article from the Department of Health and Environmental Control will be very helpful… 

If you’re returning home after a natural disaster like Hurricane Micheal, we don’t need to tell you that there are a lot of important decisions to be made. There are also many dangerous conditions that need to be dealt with for you and your families safety. We think you’ll find this article extremely helpful. 

We would also like to remind you that Florida Anchor and Barrier is here to answer any questions you may have. We can also help you to repair and rebuild your mobile home in Florida.  

  • Continue to monitor your radio or television for up-to-date emergency information.
  • You may not be able to return to your home immediately after the storm ends. It could take a few days before emergency crews have assessed all areas for safety hazards or any necessary rescue operations. Do not attempt to re-enter your neighborhood until authorities have declared the area safe.
  • It may also take a couple of weeks before power and telephone service can be restored to all neighborhoods.
  • Limit driving to what is necessary. There will be downed electrical wires and debris covering the roads.
  • Avoid high water. Remember, most deaths attributed to a hurricane are from drowning while in a vehicle driven into high or fast flowing waters.
  • Limit the use of your telephone and avoid tying up telephone lines that may be needed by emergency responders.
  • Take one day at a time. This type of experience creates a great amount of stress. Go easy on yourself and those around you. Try to get back into family routines such as meal and bed times. Eat a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • If you have children, listen to their feelings about losing favorite toys or possessions. It is important to give yourself and your children permission to be sad about what you have lost.
  • Ask for help if you need it.
  • Reach out and help a neighbor.

Safety Concerns When Returning Home

Most visits to hospital emergency rooms following a hurricane are because of injuries which occurred after the storm. Sprains and strains are        common, as are cuts and punctures, broken bones, and motor vehicle accidents.

Be patient, take it easy, and be careful. You can make your recovery from the storm a safer one if you follow the advice below.

General Precautions and Recommendations

  • Return to your home during daylight hours.
  • Before entering, check for any structural hazards that might make it unsafe to go in the house. Enter your home with caution. If you can go inside, open all the doors and windows to increase ventilation.
  • Fire is another cause of death following a storm, often caused by the use of candles. It is much better to use battery operated flashlights and lanterns instead of candles.
  • Electrical power should be shut off until it is determined that there is no risk of fire, explosion, or electrocution. If you smell something burning when the electricity is turned on but can find no visible source of fire or smoke, immediately turn off the electricity at the main breaker.
  • All appliances and other equipment and lighting must be completely dry before using them. Even if you are able to turn on the power, do not plug in any item which is not completely dry.
  • Use generators or gas pumps in well ventilated areas. They can generate deadly carbon monoxide gas. Do not plug generators into house outlets; plug appliances directly into the generator.
  • You should contact the utility company before connecting an electric generator to your home’s electrical system. This is almost always against the law and prohibited by fire code unless you have approved automatic interrupt devices.
  • Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working. If using a generator, be extra aware of your carbon monoxide detector.
  • Take photos of damages for insurance purposes.
  • If you boarded your windows and doors before you left home, be careful of nails and broken glass when you remove the boards.
  • Avoid wading in water since there may be broken glass, nails, or other objects in the water along with chemicals and sewage.
  • If you get a cut or puncture would, contact a doctor, a public health department, or hospital to determine if you need a tetanus vaccination.

Precautions to Take When…

Smelling Gas:

  • If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main valve, open all windows, and get out of the house immediately.
  • Do not turn on the electricity, light matches, smoke, or do anything that could cause a spark.
  • Immediately notify the gas company as well as your local fire and police departments.
  • Do not return to the house until you are told it is safe to do so.

Handling Electrical Damage:

  • If you see frayed wiring or sparks when you restore power, or if there is an odor of something burning but no visible fire, you should immediately shut off the electrical system at the main circuit breaker.
  • You should follow the instruction provided by your utility company or emergency preparedness agency about using electrical equipment, including power generators. Be aware that it is against the law and a violation of electrical codes to connect generators to your home’s electrical circuits without the approved, automatic-interrupt devices.
  • If a generator is on line when electrical service is restored, it can become a major fire hazard. In addition, the improper connection of a generator to your home’s electrical circuits may endanger line workers helping to restore power in your area.
  • Make sure all electrical equipment and appliances are completely dry before returning them to service. It is advisable to have a certified electrician check these items if there is any question.

Inspecting and Cleaning Up

When Cleaning Up Inside:

  • Walls, wood, vinyl or ceramic floors, counter tops, cabinets, pantry shelves, refrigerators (inside & out) plus many other surfaces should be cleaned with soap and water and disinfected with a bleach diluted with water at a rate of one cup of bleach to five gallons of water.
  • Wash all linens in hot water.
  • Wash all clothing or take it to the dry cleaners.
  • Steam clean all carpeting.
  • Take mattresses and upholstered furniture outdoors to air dry in the sun, then spray them with a disinfectant.
  • Wear rubber gloves when cleaning. If there has been a back up from the sewer, wear rubber boots.
  • Make repairs, even if temporary ones, to limit further damage.
  • Hire only licensed contractors.
  • Remember to lift with your legs, not your back.

When Cleaning Up Outside:

  • Stay away from dangling power lines and metal fences. Be careful when clearing fallen trees as they may have wires tangled in them.
  • Avoid wading in water. Broken glass, metal fragments, and other debris may be present in the water.
  • Wear safety glasses, gloves, long sleeve shirts, pants, and sturdy shoes.
  • Use caution if you will be using a chainsaw. Read the operating and safety instructions. When using an electric chainsaw, use extreme caution to avoid electrical shock.
  • Be aware of snakes or other animals that are driven to drier ground by any flooding.
  • Don’t burn trash. Contact your trash pick up service and find out their schedule for pick up.
  • Call a professional service to remove large uprooted trees.
  • Once again, remember to lift with your legs, not your back.

Septic System Problems

The large amount of rain and flooding that typically occurs with a hurricane may cause some problems with septic systems. The problems you might experience include slow draining toilets and sinks or wastewater bubbling up from the ground.

There are a few simple steps you can take to limit any potential problems:

  • Limit the use of water.
  • Do laundry at the laundromat.
  • Don’t flush the toilet every time it’s used.
  • Wash dishes by hand.
  • Don’t park on or drive over the septic tank or field area.
  • Limit walking or playing in that area.
  • If water is bubbling up from the ground, don’t let children play in that area.
  • If sewage is backing up into the house, use gloves and wear rubber boots and clean with a disinfectant such as diluted bleach.

Florida Anchor and Barrier truck 4Florida Anchor and Barrier has men and equipment standing by if you need help repairing your mobile or manufactured home after Hurricane Michael… 

Florida Anchor & Barrier has offices throughout North / central and southern Florida.

Tampa Fl  (813) 528-5988

503 E JACKSON ST
TAMPA, FL 33602

Cape Coral Fl  (239) 823-0263

1217 E CAPE CORAL PKWY
CAPE CORAL, FL 33904

Sarasota Fl (941) 448-3577

7350 S TAMIAMI TRAIL
SARASOTA, FL 32431

Lakeland FL (863) 512-2800

3616 HARDEN BLVD
LAKELAND, FL 33803

Palm Harbor FL (727) 237-6772

35246 US HWY 19 N
PALM HARBOR, FL 34684

Orlando FL (407) 792-0288

4630 S KIRKMAN RD (407, 386, 321, 352)
ORLANDO, FL 32811

Port St Lucie Fl (772) 539-5154

7548 S US HWY 1
PORT ST LUCIE, FL 34952

Daytona FL  (386) 478-7814

West Palm Beach Fl  (561) 337-1275

Fort Pierce FL  (772) 539-5154

Ft. Lauderdale FL  (954) 713-9366

Brooksville FL (352) 398-9286

Melbourne FL  (321) 215-4009

ST. Augustine FL  (904) 504-7400</strong

MOBILE HOME NATURAL DISASTERS IN FLORIDA & FEMA

Hurricane Michael With Hurricane Michael heading up the west coast of Florida we thought this would be a good time to remind you of the laws concerning FEMA as they pertain to mobile homes in Florida. Here are some some FAQS from the Miami Law Center that you’ll find helpful. 

My mobile home is damaged, am I eligible to apply for FEMA disaster relief benefits?

You may be eligible for FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) disaster relief if you are a mobile homeowner living in the mobile home or a renter living in the mobile home. Only one member of the household living in the mobile home should apply for FEMA disaster relief.

What kind of benefits will FEMA provide mobile home owners?

FEMA may provide financial assistance for repairs to the mobile home if repairs are possible. If the mobile home is classified as destroyed, the mobile homeowner may receive a cash award for the “loss of housing unit”. In extreme cases, FEMA may provide a new mobile home for temporary living, sometimes with the possibility of purchasing the home at a reduced rate.

What kind of benefits will FEMA provide to mobile home renters (not homeowners)?

FEMA may provide financial assistance to mobile home renters whose personal property was damaged by the hurricane. Mobile home renters may also be eligible to receive assistance to cover 3-months rent for alternative housing, and other needs such as disaster-caused medical expenses, repair of a car damaged by the storm, disaster-related moving and storage expenses, and food costs.

What should I do after I apply for FEMA disaster relief benefits?

After applying for FEMA benefits, you should make every effort to be present when FEMA comes to inspect the mobile home. You should take photos of the mobile home and its contents and to provide the FEMA agent any information he/she may have regarding the value of your losses.

If my mobile home is damaged or destroyed, do I still have to pay lot rent to the park?

Yes, if you own your home and rent the lot, you are obligated to pay lot rent in order to maintain possession of the lot. But, if your park is unlivable, you should speak to the park owner about whether he will reduce or waive rent for some period of time. If the owner agrees, make sure you confirm the agreement in writing, by email, or text.

If you don’t pay rent the park owner may file an eviction for non-payment of rent. If that happens, you will be required to deposit your rent with the court. If you do not deposit your rent with the court, you will automatically lose the eviction.

If you do not have money to pay the rent, you should contact your local disaster recovery center to see if you are eligible for any other financial assistance.

Who is responsible for debris clean up?

You should review your lease, prospectus, and mobile home park rules and regulations to determine if there is a written agreement regarding this issue. If there is no written agreement, then Florida law governs, which states that the mobile home park owner is responsible for cleaning the debris in common areas of the mobile home park. The mobile home owner is responsible for cleaning up the debris on his/her individual lot caused by his/her own personal property (i.e. destroyed utility sheds, mobile home parts, furniture, etc.)

If the mobile home park is destroyed, can the park owner permanently close down the park?

The park owner must provide a 6-month notice to all residents prior to closing down a mobile home park. In addition, the park owner must provide written notice to all residents within 5 days of filing an application to change the park’s zoning from mobile home park to some other use. If the park owner closes the park, you may be eligible for a small amount of financial assistance from Florida’s Mobile Home Relocation Corporation.

To find a legal aid office in Florida, go to: https://floridalawhelp.org/find-legal-help 

Call us at any of our Florida offices at these locations listed below:
Florida Anchor & Barrier has offices throughout central and southern Florida.

Call us and we’ll give you a free quote in writing.

Florida Anchor & Barrier also has offices throughout central and southern Florida.

Tampa Fl  (813) 528-5988

503 E JACKSON ST
TAMPA, FL 33602

Cape Coral Fl  (239) 823-0263

1217 E CAPE CORAL PKWY
CAPE CORAL, FL 33904

Sarasota Fl (941) 448-3577

7350 S TAMIAMI TRAIL
SARASOTA, FL 32431

Lakeland FL (863) 512-2800

3616 HARDEN BLVD
LAKELAND, FL 33803

Palm Harbor FL (727) 237-6772

35246 US HWY 19 N
PALM HARBOR, FL 34684

Orlando FL (407) 792-0288

4630 S KIRKMAN RD (407, 386, 321, 352)
ORLANDO, FL 32811

Port St Lucie Fl (772) 539-5154

7548 S US HWY 1
PORT ST LUCIE, FL 34952

Daytona FL  (386) 478-7814

West Palm Beach Fl  (561) 337-1275

Fort Pierce FL  (772) 539-5154

Ft. Lauderdale FL  (954) 713-9366

Brooksville FL (352) 398-9286

Melbourne FL  (321) 215-4009

ST. Augustine FL  (904) 504-7400

Mobile Home Repairs

Florida Anchor and Barrier gets calls every day for mobile Home repairs in Tampa, St Petersburg, Clearwater and the other city’s we serve in Florida.

We’ll be answering questions and talking about the most common problems with mobile homes here. Many of these problems are avoidable, but when left to long without repair they must be done by a Licensed Contractor in Florida.

Damaged mobile home floors and vapor barriers are at the top of the list: Vapor barrier replacement is an important  

Damaged belly’s or the underside of mobile homes is one of the most common problems. If this barrier is damaged or broken it will cause an almost endless list of problems and a lot of them are dangerous to your health.

Many of the problems with mobile home floors and vapor barriers are a result of repairs to the mobile home. The floor in the mobile is cut to replace or repair pipes or when upgrades are installed and the floor is not resealed properly, which allows moisture and insects into the mobile home and the problems compound and you end up with a mobile home floor that leaks and sags and needs replacing or at least major repairs.

Vapor Barrier replacement must be done correctly, because they’re health issues here as well as structural problems. Florida Anchor and Barrier always includes Fogging for insects, mold and fungus fogging, along with the structural which is, removing all old insulation, re-strapping old duct fittings, installation of duct lift blocks, replacement of leveling shims, foam insulation around all pipes and fittings, replacing insulation with R-13, along with the replacement of the vapor barrier with the newest barrier available.

If you have sagging floor joists in your mobile home then this is the time to repair and replace them to save you the cost of taking the floor apart again, we’ll talk about sagging floors in our next article here.

Call us at any of our Florida offices at these locations listed below:
Florida Anchor & Barrier has offices throughout central and southern Florida.

Call us and we’ll give you a free quote in writing.

Florida Anchor & Barrier also has offices throughout central and southern Florida.

Tampa Fl  (813) 528-5988

503 E JACKSON ST
TAMPA, FL 33602

Cape Coral Fl  (239) 823-0263

1217 E CAPE CORAL PKWY
CAPE CORAL, FL 33904

Sarasota Fl (941) 448-3577

7350 S TAMIAMI TRAIL
SARASOTA, FL 32431

Lakeland FL (863) 512-2800

3616 HARDEN BLVD
LAKELAND, FL 33803

Palm Harbor FL (727) 237-6772

35246 US HWY 19 N
PALM HARBOR, FL 34684

Orlando FL (407) 792-0288

4630 S KIRKMAN RD (407, 386, 321, 352)
ORLANDO, FL 32811

Port St Lucie Fl (772) 539-5154

7548 S US HWY 1
PORT ST LUCIE, FL 34952

Daytona FL  (386) 478-7814

West Palm Beach Fl  (561) 337-1275

Fort Pierce FL  (772) 539-5154

Ft. Lauderdale FL  (954) 713-9366

Brooksville FL (352) 398-9286

Melbourne FL  (321) 215-4009

ST. Augustine FL  (904) 504-7400