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Hurricane Sandy Hits Cuba and Heads for the Bahamas

Although it is not a threat to South Florida, the outer bands of Hurricane Sandy are bringing rain and high damaging winds to our area. According to foxnews.com, the system just lashed Cuba before heading to the Bahamas and the United States hurricane center estimates that the storm has produced between 6 and 12 inches of rain across Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and eastern Cuba. 

A Strong Category 2 Hurricane

Sandy is a strong Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph. It is moving north at 18 mph and is expected to move through the Bahamas later today.

Before crossing over Cuba, the storm made landfall near Jamaica's capital city, Kingston, where authorities report that an elderly man died when a boulder crashed into his clapboard house. The island's international airports were closed and a 48 hour curfew was ordered by police in several towns to avoid looting. Curiously, floodwaters carried crocodiles out of their natural habitat in the mangroves and into towns, with one big croc reportedly taking temporary residence in a family's front yard in the city of Portmore.

Also, it is reported that cruise ships changed their itineraries to avoid the storm and, unfortunately, authorities in Haiti say that a woman died when she was swept away by a river she was trying to cross.

No Major Damages Expected in Cuba

Although the rains could produce life-threatening flash floods and mudslides in areas of mountainous terrain like Cuba's eastern province of Oriente, authorities in the island were confident they had done everything they could to prepare for the storm. In the island's second-largest city, Santiago de Cuba, hotels prepared by getting generators ready and closing off some open areas like pools.

Evacuations were limited to the beach resorts. Yet, Miguel Angel Puig, a Colonel with Cuba's Civil Defense, said that since Sandy is a system of very strong and intense rains it could affect as many as 200,000 people in the area. Consequently, fishermen on the Gulf of Guacanayabo, where the city of Manzanillo is located, moved their boats to higher grounds inland.

Tips For Homeowners With Damages From the Storm

Although Hurricane Sandy is not expected to make landfall in South Florida, the rains and heavy winds associated with the system may still cause damage to property in our area. We would like to offer to our readers the following tips on the steps they should follow should their homes or other property suffer damage:

  • Take pictures of the damaged property before you make repairs.
  • Begin to make temporary repairs to prevent further damage to your home or property. Keep a record of time spent and all receipts for work done on your property. You have a duty to mitigate damages under the terms of your insurance policy.
  • Take pictures of any mitigation steps you have taken such as placing tarps on your roofs or covering broken windows or doors.
  • Remove tree debris from the structure and place it on the ground.
  • If your power is out, unplug any small electrical items and electronics to prevent electrical spike damage.
  • Secure replacement costs/estimates from local retailers of like kind, quality and features. Obtain statements from vendors on items that cannot be repaired.
  • Do not dispose of any damaged contents until authorized by your agent or claim representative.
  • Contact only reputable, licensed vendors for repair estimates. Have estimates signed by the vendor and approved by your adjuster or agent before having major damage repaired.
  • Inventory your damaged personal possessions such as furniture, clothing, art, collectables, etc. If a damaged item is a collectable or artwork, try to establish its current value.
  • Contact the Law Offices of Greenberg Stone and Urbano immediately after the storm so that we can send our loss consultant to inspect your property and help you prepare the documents in support of your claim.

The Lawyers of Greenberg Stone and Urbano Can Help

You should always have an attorney help you review your policy and advise you on what coverage you should have and for how much. If you are about to renew your policy (with the same insurer or a new one), we can help you review it and make sure you are adequately covered and in a position to avoid costly expenses should disaster strike.

With more than 70 years of combined experience, the Miami Dade County Homeowners Insurance Claims Law Offices of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have helped thousands of Homeowners all over Florida review their policies, present their claims and get the compensation owed them by their insurance carrier.

Additionally, please note that if your home has already sustained damages, our team of loss consultants, paralegals, and attorneys will assist you in every aspect of your claim. Our loss consultant will even go to your home to evaluate the damage you sustained at no cost or obligation to you. Visit our website to learn more about our firm and contact us today for a free consultation or to schedule a free inspection by our loss consultant.

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