Sorry for the lack of posts and this is largely due to the hurricane that hit Central Ohio! Ok, it wasn’t a hurricane but close enough! We had straight winds over 80 mph with hail and tons of pouring rain. A category 1 hurricane only has 75 mph winds! The difference was that our winds weren’t funnel shaped, just straight through whatever was in its path! As you can tell below, the damage was so severe (this is our neighbor’s home)! We honestly thought it was a tornado and took cover in the basement. It was truly terrifying! Thankfully, we were unharmed but we can’t say the same about our home and community.
Some things we’ve learned from this:
- That we were totally unprepared! We will be investing in more flashlights and batteries ASAP. Because I am on oxygen, candles aren’t an option.
- That “Acts of God” are your responsibility even if the tree branch that broke your fence came from your neighbor’s property! We are thankful to have insurance but were bummed when reminded by our insurance agent that we have a deductible.
- That your “frozen-as-hard-as-a-rock” food in your freezer will turn to slush and mush within 24 hours when temperatures are over 90 degrees fahrenheit. We erroneously thought that if we just didn’t open the freezer that the food would basically be “on ice” since it was frozen. We learned the hard way that your first response after Mother Nature strikes is to first check to make sure your family is safe and secondly, find a secondary home for your fridge & freezer foods…we learned the costly way after tossing about $400 worth of groceries out 😦
- Claim your food loss! When you have damage that is extensive and you also lost electric, chances are you lost your food to spoilage. You can add the food loss to your claim and be reimbursed for it. Most of the time when electric goes out, your food loss is not worth the claim when you figure in your insurance deductible but if you have extensive damage to your property, don’t forget to add your food loss to your claim! When we were emptying both of our fridges and freezers, we itemized all that was tossed. Which after a week without electric, it was everything in our fridges and freezers 😦 We submitted our itemized food list to the insurance adjuster when they were inspecting the damage to our property. I was so bummed by the amount of food wasted but thankful we can now replace it. I should add that there is a magic number. Since our claim for food loss was around $400, actual receipts weren’t needed. We did turn in to our insurance a detailed list of all the food that had to be thrown out. I’m glad we had the presence of mind to make a list. Our insurance claim person said had our food claim been higher that more information/paperwork would have been needed just for the food claim. We were just honest in our claim and I always suggest to folks to do the same. I think more often than not, folks short sell themselves versus they are trying to scam insurance companies. We would have never thought about the food loss claim had our insurance agent and one of our close friends not informed us about that option. We just wanted back what was lost in both of our fully stocked fridges/freezers. Our insurance (State Farm) made the whole claim process easy peasy! So two thumbs up for State Farm insurance!
- That a “thunderstorm” can cause over $1000.00 in damages (this doesn’t include the cost of repairing our roof or our hail-damaged car). Update: it turned out the claim was just over $7000.00 in damages 😦 We already have a great contractor in line fixing all that was damaged!
- That there is such a thing as a portable fan (sold at Bed, Bath & Beyond for about $40) and that they actually do help!
- That when your electric comes back on that it may just go right back out! Turns out the goal of the electric company is to get electricity back for as many folks as possible in the shortest amount of time. This does mean that a “band-aid” fix isn’t a permanent fix. When your community is hit with such a punch, you may just get punched over and over. The electric returned and disappeared several times for many folks this past week (we currently are without power again for the second time).
- Double check all your outlets! When you lose your electric and it takes days to return, be sure to check every outlet in the house. Did you have something turned on that when the electric comes back will automatically be turned back on that you don’t necessarily want back on? This is especially important if you have an electric range. I remember back in high school a friend of mine lost electric. The family ordered pizza. They went about their business the next day and while away the electric was turned back on. When they returned, their home was burnt to the ground 😦 Turns out they left their pizza box on the stove. When the electric went out, the mom had turned a burner on to get dinner started. In the chaos of when the electric first went out, she forgot she had the burner on. They had placed the pizza boxes on top of the stove and when the electric came back, the burner became hot and caught the boxes on fire. It was really sad.
- That you talk to your neighbors more after a catastrophe than any other time. This is a sad statement and something we will also be changing.
- Lastly, that no matter what, those who truly love you will be there to help! The Pack Family doesn’t ask for help, even when we need it. We are stubborn like that I guess. But we could not have made it through this week with our kids and our dogs if it weren’t for our family and friends!
I pray that those who also experienced Mother Nature’s wrath this week are also doing ok. Life does go on…and we WILL be better prepared next time!