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Hurricane Hermine

cadberry

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Let me begin by saying that we are well, we had no damage to our home, and our power and water are restored. However, half of our city is still without power (since Thursday night) and it may still be a few more days. We are blessed beyond measure to be where we are at this point.

 

Next let me say that we are so thankful that we saved back some of DH's leave payout from his retirement because that has relieved some of the anxiety related to storm preparation and post-storm "survival". I had filled my car with gas, gotten our cash for the pay period, and we had postponed a trip to Sam's Club which would have filled our refrigerator for the month. Instead, when the storm hit and our power went out (36+ hours), I wasn't concerned about the contents of the frig because it wasn't much and we had our grocery money still intact. It was probably time to take everything out and do a deep scrub of the inside of the frig and freezer anyway. We have a deep freezer (chest style) in the garage but since DS moved to college, we won't be needing it (it's where we kept supplies of frozen pizza, waffles, etc., which we won't be buying as he was the only one who really ate them). In fact, we decided that we'll just shut it down for now and make do with our refrigerator's freezer, so that should save some electricity each month.

 

Speaking of electricity, 36 hours of no air conditioning (or other power usage) should help our bill be a little bit lower. Our neighborhood is also on a well which means when the electricity is out, so it the water, so maybe our water bill will be down a little bit, too.

 

However, our expenses for this will not be down as we made an early evening decision to leave town when we knew our electricity wasn't coming back before nightfall. Our DS at home has some health considerations that the heat and humidity and such were going to complicate, so we found a place a few hours north and spent two nights with air conditioning and running water! This is why I am thankful that we had the extra cash saved back from DH's leave payout, so we could do that. If it wasn't for DS, I would have just stuck it out another day to see what happened, but sometimes you just can't "wait and see." We packed as much food as we could take with us so we only had to spend money for the room, gas, and a wee bit of food. And while we were away, we visited a state park and tried to "salvage" the long weekend. We kept in touch with neighbors so we knew when the power was restored to our neighborhood and while we had made reservations through Monday (in case the power took longer to restore), as soon as we were notified, we made arrangements with the hotel to check out a day earlier.

 

One of our grocery store chains runs a promotion occasionally where if you spend a certain amount on groceries, you can get a gas card for 20% off. We had done that in August and had $25 on the gift card. Plus I finally got around to joining the fuel rewards program, so we were able to use only the gas gift card for the fuel we needed.

 

I'm still getting accustomed to how hotels process debit cards, so I'm glad we had the extra from DH's payout to "buffer" the "hold" they place on the debit card.

 

Anyway, I'm glad we're getting settled again. The frig is clean and I went to the store for essentials. And only essentials.

 

I hope if any of you reading this experienced Hermine that you came out without any damage or loss.

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Our hurricane update:  we are safe.  Just got like 10 inches of rain.  Many parts of our area were flooded, unable to drive through.  We are a bit higher ground so we were never trapped.  

 

The bad news:  the roof fell in on one of our rental homes.  Destroyed drywall and flooring.  Talked to insurance and they said by state law they can never hold a hurricane claim against us (can't raise our rates or non renew us) so we went ahead and had an adjuster out.  They will make a decision within a week as to whether it will be covered or not.  There is some question about whether there was pre-existing damage.  So we will find out soon.  Bad news:  hurricane deductible applies even though it wasn't a hurricane in my county, only tropical storm force winds.  If it's a hurricane anywhere, the hurricane deductible applies.  You don't get to choose your hurricane deductible, it's a set percentage of the house value.  So, if it is covered, we still are on the hook for the first $3750 worth of damage.

 

All part of the costs of owning rental homes!  Luckily the tenant is being very reasonable and they have just moved all their stuff downstairs, and they understand that we have to wait for word from the adjuster.  We are doing everything we can to get this done ASAP and he sees that and isn't mad at us at least.

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Miranova, I am glad your tenant is being understanding - we are beginning to see people being mad and unreasonable in our area about things that just take time no matter how many people you have working around the clock.  While situations like these often bring people together, there are some who use the opportunity to raise points of conflict. It truly reveals a person's nature - those who tend to seek the good in things and serve others, and those who are only out for themselves.

 

I hope you're able to get the place repaired and that it can happen quickly for the sake of the tenants.  Thank you for the explanation about hurricanes and insurance - I didn't know how that worked.

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Our beach place is ok.  Around the house & roads, you can't tell there was a storm.  The beach took a beating & the dunes suffered.  Beach restoration was already scheduled to begin next spring.  

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Three estimates for a new roof:  $8k, $12k, and $16k.  LOL.  This is why you have to get multiple estimates.  We scheduled the $8k guys because they are already two weeks out for scheduling.  If the adjuster comes back and says it's not covered then we will have to just pay it.  The roof really just needs to be replaced.  Of course that is not including the drywall and flooring.  And yes, emergency funds for rentals are a must.  This isn't a total surprise.  It was the oldest roof we had.  It happens!

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Insurance has decided that they needed to bring out a structural engineer to see if there is any more damage to the house that we are not aware of yet.  That happened a few days ago.  Still waiting for an answer on funds.

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Final update, they are covering none of the roof because it was already at the end of its life.  Which, it totally was, so we can't really argue with that.  The drywall and flooring damage is "covered".  In quotes because due to the deductible we will still have to pay for all of it.  Oh well.  Worth a shot.

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