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Insurance agents offer advice to hurricane-proof your home

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Insurance agents say that it’s extremely important to make sure your home is properly prepared ahead of the storm, no matter how strong the storm may get — from making sure your gutters are free of debris to making sure your sandbags are properly in place.

As Hurricane Ian continues to make its presence known through Florida, Joe Carlucci with Brightway Insurance said prepping your home is key.

“Water and wind are the worst things with the hurricane. You got to be kind of mindful of. There’s going to be way more water than normal. Way more wind than normal. How can we kind of mitigate those two factors,” Carlucci said.

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He was clearing out his gutters, trimming his trees and removing any items in the yard that could potentially fly away on Tuesday.

“Little things like the umbrella, things that you don’t really think about on an everyday basis but will kind of just take that umbrella and put it who knows where,” Carlucci said. “This over here is like a pergola, a shade that clips in and out. We’re just going to unclip that, roll it out, that’s going to act as just a huge umbrella. That could really, really do some damage.”

How to sandbag your home

Protecting your house with sandbags

Joe’s brother and fellow insurance agent, Matt Carlucci Jr., said it’s a must to make a barrier around different areas of your home using sandbags or self-inflating silicone bags to prevent your home from flooding.

He said technique is important as well.

“Most importantly, you don’t want any gaps between the bags, and one way you can make sure that happens is by staggering them,” Matt Carlucci said.

Matt also said not to stack sandbags too high and to presoak the silicone bags.

He said it doesn’t take much for floodwaters to cause an inconvenience — and even thousands of dollars in damage.

“Even just an inch of water in your garage or your house can soak your drywall and can keep you out of your house for six months because it can turn into mold, and it can take a while to dry,” Matt Carlucci said.

As insurance agents, the Carluccis are closely watching the storm’s track and want homeowners to monitor any changes as well.

“Even if you have homeowner’s insurance, that’s what your covered for, still it’s no fun to go through a claim and have your house torn up and have to have repairmen there every day,” Matt Carlucci said. “Anything that you can do to prevent that would be a good idea.”

“Prep your home, stay hunkered down, and everything will probably be OK,” Joe Carlucci said.

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