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Hello from Tallahassee, where the scene is being described as a “war zone” following a devastating severe storm that ripped through our community. A possible tornado has caused widespread damage, leaving one dead and many struggling to secure their homes and businesses. As I walk through the wreckage, I want to provide some practical advice for everyone affected by this disaster.

Current Situation in Tallahassee

Overview of the Storm’s Impact

The severe storm that hit Tallahassee was nothing short of catastrophic. The storm brought with it powerful winds and what appears to be a tornado, leading to widespread destruction. Sadly, we have lost one of our own to this disaster, and the sense of urgency to rebuild and secure our community is palpable.

On-the-Ground Reporting

Walking through the streets of Tallahassee, it’s hard to believe the extent of the damage. Downed power lines, uprooted trees, and debris are everywhere. Many homes and businesses have been left without roofs or with severe structural damage. I spoke with several residents and business owners who are understandably in shock but determined to recover and rebuild.

Securing Your Property After the Storm

Immediate Safety Measures

Staying Safe

Your safety is paramount. Avoid downed power lines, as they can be extremely dangerous. If you smell gas, evacuate immediately and contact the authorities. Ensure that your home or business structure is stable before entering.

Emergency Services

If you need immediate assistance, local shelters and emergency services are available. Check for updates on where you can find food, water, and temporary shelter if your home is uninhabitable.

Assessing Damage

Initial Inspection

Once it’s safe, conduct an initial inspection of your property. Look for obvious signs of damage, such as broken windows, damaged roofs, and structural cracks. Be cautious and wear protective gear if necessary.

Documenting Damage

Take as many photos and videos as possible. This documentation will be crucial for filing insurance claims. When Hurricane Michael hit Florida, I remember how documenting every detail helped my neighbors speed up their claims process significantly.

Property Security for Homeowners

Temporary Repairs

Start with temporary repairs to prevent further damage. Use tarps to cover roof holes and plywood to board up broken windows. This can help protect your home from additional water damage and keep it secure from potential looting.

Hiring Contractors

Be wary of scams. Only hire licensed and reputable contractors. Get multiple quotes and check their references. During Hurricane Irma, my uncle learned the hard way when a fraudulent contractor took his money without completing any work.

Property Security for Business Owners

Securing Business Premises

For business owners, securing your premises is critical. Reinforce doors and windows if they’ve been damaged. Consider hiring Armed Security or Security guards to protect your property from looting and vandalism. Several security guard companies in Florida offer rapid deployment services to provide immediate protection.

Protecting Inventory

Move valuable inventory to safer locations if possible. If your business has been severely damaged, securing what remains can help prevent further loss. When a friend’s store was hit by a storm last year, he quickly moved his stock to a secure warehouse, saving thousands of dollars in potential losses.

Community Support and Resources

Local Assistance

Numerous local resources are available to help storm victims. Shelters, food distribution centers, and financial aid programs are in place to provide assistance. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help; the community is here to support you.

Volunteer Efforts

If you’re in a position to help, consider volunteering or donating. Many organizations are coordinating efforts to assist those in need. Your contribution can make a significant difference.

Utility Company Updates

Restoration Timeline

Utility companies are working around the clock to restore power. However, with extensive damage, it might take some time. Stay updated with their announcements and follow any safety guidelines they provide.

Safety Precautions

While waiting for power to be restored, use generators safely. Keep them outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, and never refuel them while they’re running.

Long-Term Recovery

Insurance Claims

Filing insurance claims can be a daunting process, but it’s essential for recovery.

Filing Claims

Start by contacting your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide them with the documentation you’ve collected. When my neighbor filed a claim after Hurricane Irma, her prompt action and detailed documentation helped her get the funds she needed quickly.

Working with Adjusters

Be prepared to work with insurance adjusters. They will need to inspect the damage, so having all your documentation ready will make the process smoother. Be honest and thorough in your communication to ensure fair compensation.

Emotional and Psychological Support

Coping Strategies

Disasters can take a toll not just physically but emotionally. It’s important to acknowledge the stress and trauma. Talk to family, friends, or a professional counselor to help cope with the emotional impact.

Community Support Groups

Support groups and counseling services are available to residents. Connecting with others who are going through the same experience can provide comfort and practical advice.


Recap of Key Points

Navigating the aftermath of a severe storm is challenging, but by taking immediate safety measures, assessing and documenting damage, making temporary repairs, and securing your property, you can begin the road to recovery. Whether you’re a homeowner or a business owner, it’s essential to stay informed and proactive.

Encouragement to Take Action

Stay informed, stay safe, and take the necessary steps to secure your property. Remember, we are all in this together, and our community’s strength lies in our support for one another.

Additional Resources

Emergency Contacts

  • Tallahassee Emergency Management: (850) 815-4001
  • Florida Department of Public Safety: (850) 410-7000
  • Local Utility Companies: Check your local listings for contact numbers.

Further Reading

  • “Preparing for Natural Disasters: A Guide for Homeowners and Business Owners”
  • “Understanding Your Insurance: What to Do After a Storm”

In these trying times, remember that the community is here to support you. Let’s rebuild together, stronger and more resilient. Stay safe, Tallahassee.

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