Guest Column

What homeowners need to know concerning hurricanes


Hurricane season started June 1 and ends on Nov. 30. The NOAA outlook predicts a likelihood of 17-25 named storms. Eight to 13 of those are likely to become hurricanes, and four to seven of those expected to be major hurricanes. 

By this time, we are all know to get prepared by getting plenty of water, food, gas, etc. However, what if your home or business is damaged?

If you own a home, you most likely have a regular homeowner’s insurance policy.  If a pipe breaks in your home, you are most likely covered for all but your deductible. However, if you have rising water due to a storm, your insurance policy, most likely, will not cover this.

When I think of Jacksonville I don’t think “if” it’s going to happen, I think “when” is it going to happen. I highly recommend purchasing a flood policy for your home whether or not the city says you are in a “flood zone.”

As the owner of PuroClean Emergency Services most of the storm floods I come across the building owner says, “This has never happened to me before” or “This has never happened in this neighborhood before.” It is important to know that if you have a flood policy it still might not cover all the costs associated with a flood, however it will cover a good portion. This is something you should talk to your insurance agent about.  Flood insurance is very inexpensive, and I would call this a great safety measure. 

If your home or business is flooded from a storm, I would not recommend trying to take care of the damage yourself. Call a professional restoration company such as PuroClean Emergency Services.  Restoration companies deal with insurance companies all the time and know the proper ways to make sure your insurance company is taking good care of you. Do not take a fast payout offer as they are usually lower than what it would cost to restore a property properly.

Although water losses are assigned a category of 1, 2, 3 and sometimes 4 (not to be mixed up with the category of a hurricane), water coming in from the outside is always at least a 3 if not 4. This is because the water coming in from outside could have pesticides, animal urine, automobile oils and gases and other unknown ingredients. Anything this water touches should be discarded, with the exception of structural items that should be disinfected and dried out as soon as possible.

The last thing to know is that if FEMA is involved and your flood has been sitting there long enough to cause mold, FEMA will not cover mold-related activities. It is important to discuss this with your restoration company at the time of inspection so if there are any additional charges you know what they are.

Wayne Terry is the owner of PuroClean Emergency Services in Jacksonville. For more information about his restoration company, go to or call 904-573-3566.