Hurricane Dorian

Before law school, I worked for nearly two years at the Florida Division of Emergency Management. During major events, I served on the State Emergency Response Team at the emergency operations center in Tallahassee. With Hurricane Dorian projected to impact Florida, I wanted to take a moment to provide you some of the insights that I learned as a former member of Florida’s emergency management team.
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One of the most bizarre hurricane stories ever told to me was from a client’s son in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina. While holding on for his life in flood waters, a chihuahua came floating by him on a surfboard. I just have a hard time imagining that but look at the photo above. One of the saddest hurricane stories is the death of twelve seniors at a Florida nursing home following Hurricane Irma. The people responsible for taking care of them are now facing criminal prosecution.
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Hurricane season has begun early this year, with the first named storm of the season, Alberto, making its appearance just days before the official season start date, which is June 1st. Tropical Storm Alberto is headed for the Gulf Coast and is expected to bring tropical storm conditions, including flooding rains, coastal storm surges, and high winds over the holiday weekend. Alberto is expected to strengthen within the next 72 hours, and may intensify to hurricane strength. Alberto’s winds have the capability of producing tornados. Additionally, the risk of flooding is heightened due to the heavy rain that has occurred over the past couple weeks.
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With Harvey still in our rear-view mirror, many Houstonians and coastal Texans are fearing what the 2018 Hurricane and storm season will bring. Many policyholders are still fighting their insurance carriers to recover on their Hurricane Harvey claims. With numerous claims being denied or underpaid—several policyholders have not moved back into their homes due to the need for extensive repairs, leaving homes uninhabitable in the current condition. Others however are, for one reason or another, still living in their home although it is in dire need of repair. In either situation, many are left wondering if they will recover from Harvey in time to brace themselves and their home for the next storm.
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On Friday, I took a deposition from our Tampa office via video conference questioning an adjuster in Charlotte. At about 1:45 pm, Erin Dunnovant rushed in our boardroom to tell me the office building and our entire area was being evacuated. I had to suspend the deposition and grab my computer. Opposing counsel said they would help in any way possible and took my cell number. He already sent a message about staying safe.
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