Hurricane Irma Expected to Hit Southern Florida, Prepare Paperwork Now

Another hurricane is headed toward the U.S. and may hit South Florida. Hurricane Irma has been classified as a Category 5 storm, making it potentially catastrophic. It is projected to hit the Caribbean Islands south of Florida this week, possibly hitting the southernmost areas of Florida by this weekend. With the U.S. still recovering from Hurricane Harvey, which recently hit Texas, Florida citizens are doing what they can to prepare their homes for the harsh weather and to secure their safety. As South Florida gets ready for the worst, our legal team discusses what legal documents you should gather before the storm hits.

In the grand scheme of things, nothing is as important as preserving your own health and safety, as well as that of your loved ones. Papers and possessions can be replaced, lives cannot. That being said, if you have the time to prepare and gather key items before Hurricane Irma hits, it is best to gather the following:

  • Birth certificates
  • Proof of residence (deed or lease)
  • Marriage certificates and/or divorce decrees
  • Passports
  • Social Security cards
  • Driver’s licenses
  • Insurance policies
  • Appraisal documents for valuable possessions, such as jewelry
  • Wills and deeds
  • Financial documents (ie. copies of recent tax returns, stocks, bonds, 401K account numbers, bank statements)
  • Medical documents (ie. prescription records, medical insurance cards, or other information regarding chronic conditions or health history)
  • List of pertinent contacts (close relatives or friends, primary care physician, and insurance contacts)

In order to keep stock of your possessions for insurance purposes, it could be beneficial to either photograph or take a video of your home. This could include a narrated video as you walk through your home, pointing out valuables, or a few simple photos of each room. Either way, showing visible proof of your possessions that may potentially be damaged or lost in a disaster could help you when dealing with your insurance company later on.

While these documents could all be replaced in time, it will make your life much easier to have them with you during and after a disaster. As you and your loved ones prepare yourselves for Hurricane Irma, make sure your documents are gathered and safeguarded.

For legal help from our personal injury attorney, contact the Law Office of Jami Angelini Haggerty, P.A.

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