Cleaning up before Dorian: The items you might not know could cost you

Even heavy items outside could become airborne and cause damage in high winds

By Jennifer Ready - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - As Hurricane Dorian zeroes in on Florida, you want to prepare your house, including making sure you secure anything that could cause damage outside.

Before a storm, it’s a good idea to make sure you go around your house and look for anything that could become a hazard, especially once the winds pick up. 

It could be something as small as a loose brick on a driveway or something as big as a basketball net. 

Local insurance agent Matt Carlucci, son of the Jacksonville City Councilman who shares his name, pointed out some items you might not realize could become hazards around your home, like a playhouse for children.

“Heavy winds could easily pick that up and throw it through a window or even on top of a roof if we have a Category 2 or higher winds,” Carlucci said. “All of these chairs could get thrown a long way. Basketball hoop could get blown away or thrown into the house. We have a shovel over here, the wind could easily pick that up along with the table, even the grill or the propane tank.”

So why is it important for people to take storm preps seriously and go around their house before a storm hits?

“Wind can pick up a lot of heavy things very easily, especially when you get the strong wind gusts of over 100 miles an hour. It can throw them through your window and sometimes the damage can be expensive, but not expensive enough to exceed your deductible, and then you’re left having to pay for that damage out-of-pocket, so I would say get everything, even if you don’t think wind can pick it up, get it inside so there’s no risk,” Carlucci said.

Carlucci said people often forget to check around their homes in the days before a storm reaches them.

“We have a lot of claims where flying objects were not secured before the storm, and it caused damage to their house or someone else’s house, and if it damages someone else’s house, then you have a little bit of an awkward situation to deal with,” Carlucci said.

John Phillips, who owns the home News4Jax visited with Carlucci, said he does try to prep outside his house before a big storm.

It's a good idea, as a precaution, to bring everything inside that you can, because you want to prevent any of those expenses and having to file an insurance claim for flying objects, Carlucci said. Those are things you can avoid just by taking that simple step, going around your house and making sure you bring inside any items that could fly or damage your home. 

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