Weather forcasters are predicting that Tropical Storm Fay is heading toward Florida and could arrive in the Keys tomorrow (Monday, August 18), and on the mainland on Tuesday. At that point no one knows whether it will reach hurricane strength or not. So far predicted paths of the storm show it going nearly up the center of the state. But this far out a lot can happen to alter where it ends up going. If you click on the picture to the left you see a larger version of the image and can see where it is located as of the early evening on Sunday, August 17th. Several counties on the west central coast of the state have already issued hurricane watches for Tuesday.
In our inland areas near Zephyrhills, our main worries are heavy rains, high winds, and tornados. We do not get the coastal flooding that can occur on the west coast of Pasco County or in Pinellas or Hillsborough Counties. Often residents in mobile homes are urged to go to public shelters until the worst passes us by.
Several years ago we had 4 hurricanes go over us, one right after the other. In our area there was minimal damage. Mostly a few carports destroyed, some roofs were damaged, power outages due to tree limbs falling, and some localized flooding in low-lying areas. Hopefully, our lucky streak will continue. Of course, even now the insurance companies are crying the blues over those storms and are using them as the reason they need huge premium hikes.
If you live here, why not stock up on batteries, canned food, other ready-to-eat foods, plastic/paper eating utensils, etc. You might also want to get some money out of the ATM (if the power goes out you may have to pay for things in cash), fill the gas tank on your car(s), and get the propane tank on the outdoor grill filled. They make a great way to cook if the power goes out. Just do not be a hoarder so that others cannot buy supplies. You do not need 100 rolls of toilet paper :) You can also visit the Channel 8 News site in Tampa, Florida for more storm hints and to follow the track of the storm. Just click on the following link: www.tbo.com Click on their WEATHER link and off you will go. They even have an animated radar map which can be both interesting and helpful.
You can also get some good official information by visiting the National Hurricane Center site by clicking on the following link: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ Not just for this storm, but you may want to bookmark it for future ones. They have maps, winds speeds, predicted paths, and much more. Not as user-friendly as the TBO site, but useful none-the-less, and it has a lot of detailed information.
If you are scheduled to close on a home purchase when a storm is near, be aware that many insurance companies will NOT write new policies when there is a storm watch or warning anywhere in the state of Florida. If you went through a Florida REALTOR and he or she used a standard contract here, there is a contingency for this that will allow you to delay your closing until after the storm has passed and you can get insurance.
If you did not use a licensed agent and your sale is a "for sale by owner"' you might want to consult with an attorney to see what you can do. It is not a good idea to buy a new home, with no insurance coverage, and a storm approaching. In fact, if you are financing your purchase, your lender will demand that you have proof of coverage before they will cough up the money so you can close. So be careful
If you need more information or have questions about hurricanes and Florida life, you can call me at 813-783-4444 or e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org I also invite you to visit my webpage at: www.jelwell.century21bnr.com You might also want to check out my blogs that I entered on June 20, 2008 in this weblog concerning finding flood zones in Pasco and Hillsborough Counties. There is also one from FEMA for other areas around the United States. Just click on the archive link to the left of this post for June 2008.
Hope you find this information of use.
John Elwell - REALTOR
Bill Nye Realty, Inc.
Licensed in Florida