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Important questions during and after Hurricane Matthew

By tomorrow morning, Hurricane Matthew will have passed us by, but that doesn’t mean the worries are over. We’ve heard you asking questions about what to do after the storm. Here are a few answers and we’ll be working on gathering more answers as they become available.

Check this:

There might be water contamination issues. Check whether there’s a “boil water” advisory or other emergency updates here.

Check on the status of power outages here.

Check on the beach conditions (like whether there are riptides, which will last longer than the storm itself) here.

What happens if you spot price gouging, aka a business or person is charging a huge markup for something like water or gas?

That’s illegal if it’s considered an essential item. Call the hotline to report it at 866-966-7266 or the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office at 305-547-3300. (Note: Ride sharing services aren’t considered essential. They’ll still have some surge pricing. More on that here.)

What do I do if my car is flooded or damaged?

Do this now: Take a picture of your car ASAP.

Then:

  • Read your policy.
  • If you have comprehensive insurance, you can file a claim for the cash value caused by a natural disaster. (Collision will help if you are driving and crash into something, but gap insurance won’t do much for you.)
  • File a claim.

What do I do if my apartment/home is flooded or damaged?

Do this now: Take a picture/walk through video of all of your belongings ASAP

If you’re renting:

Most leases don’t say anything about storm prep, so there’s no legal obligation for landlords to help their tenants prepare for a storm, according to WLRN.

Still, if there’s structural damage to the house, it’s on the homeowner to figure that ish out. They’re legally obligated to make sure the house is habitable if they’re renting it to you.

But homeowner’s insurance doesn’t protect a tenant’s stuff. That means you’ll have to tap into your renter’s insurance if any of your stuff is damaged, and renter’s insurance usually covers damages from hurricanes. It’ll also cover anything that’s stolen — which can be the more pressing threat in the aftermath of a storm.

Here’s how you can file a renter’s insurance claim.

If you own:

If you have homeowners insurance and flood insurance, here are all the steps to filing a claim.

You can also call the Florida Department of Financial Services, 800-342-2762 or the Disaster Assistance Insurance Helpline 800-227-8676 for additional assistance.

TBD:

Where can I volunteer communities to the north, who are going to get hit head on?

How can I help in the Bahamas, Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, etc.?

When will the gas be back?

Will problems further north affect our supply chain?

What other questions do you have? We’ll add them to the list.