Preparing for Hurricane Season During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Preparing for Hurricane Season During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As you continue to take precautions to keep yourself and your family safe from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is important to stay prepared for other disasters. Hurricane season begins on June 1, and the time to prepare is now.

Preparing for Hurricane Season During the COVID-19 Pandemic

As you continue to take precautions to keep yourself and your family safe from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is important to stay prepared for other disasters. Hurricane season begins on June 1, and the time to prepare is now.

FEMA continues to coordinate with state, local, tribal, and territorial officials, along with the private sector, to share operational guidance and to encourage hurricane planning that reflects public health guidelines. While many preparedness tools available to you are the same, certain actions may look different while COVID-19 remains a concern. FEMA has updated guidelines for preparing for hurricane season.

Know Your Evacuation Route

Check with local officials about updated evacuation shelters for this year. You should note that your regular shelter may not be open this year due to COVID-19. If you evacuate to a community shelter, follow the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

If you are able, bring items that can help protect you and others in the shelter from COVID-19, such as hand sanitizer, cleaning materials, and two cloth face coverings per person. Children under 2 years old and people who have trouble breathing should not wear cloth face coverings. While at the shelter, be sure to wash your hands regularly. If possible, be sure to maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet of space between you and people who aren’t members of your household.

Gather Supplies

Have enough food, water, and other supplies for every member of your family to last at least 72 hours. Consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets or seniors and prescription medications. In addition, it is recommended that you add two cloth face coverings per family member and cleaning items to your kit, like soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, or general household cleaning supplies to disinfect surfaces. After a hurricane, you may not have access to these supplies for days or even weeks. Preparing now ensures that you are well-equipped to stay safe if you need to quickly grab your go kit and evacuate to a community shelter.

As you prepare, be mindful that not everyone can afford to respond by stocking up on necessities. For those who can afford it, making essential purchases in advance will allow for longer time periods between shopping trips and help to protect those who are unable to procure essentials in advance of the pandemic and must shop more frequently.

Make an Emergency Plan

Make sure everyone in your household knows and understands your hurricane plan. Discuss the latest CDC guidance on COVID-19 and how it may affect your hurricane planning. Don’t forget a plan for the office, kids’ daycare, and anywhere you frequent.

Download the FEMA mobile app

Download the FEMA mobile app for disaster resources, weather alerts, and safety tips. Available in English and Spanish, the app provides a customizable checklist of emergency supplies, maps of open shelters and recovery centers, disaster survival tips, and weather alerts from the National Weather Service.

Visit Ready.gov for more tips. Disasters won’t wait. Neither should you.

source: FEMA

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Why you really need a REALTOR® to sell your home

Why you really need a REALTOR® to sell your home

By Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association

When it comes to selling a home, many people think selling on their own will save them time and money. The rise of instant home purchase websites has made it even easier for homeowners to think this way.

In addition, for sale by owners (FSBOs) believe the selling process is simple and effortless. List the house and let the offers roll in. Easy, right?

In reality, many homeowners find that what they thought was a faster and easier selling solution quickly turns into a huge waste of time and money.

For sale by owner? For sale forever

FSBOs often think that by dedicating their own time to selling their home, they can eliminate a REALTOR’S® commission, end up with more money in their pocket and sell it quicker. In actuality, 70 percent of FSBOs say they had significant difficulty selling their home, based on data from a profile of home buyers and sellers conducted by the National Association of REALTORS®.

What they thought was a simple process turned out to be time-consuming and complicated. One of the biggest reasons for this is that they set the wrong asking price from the beginning, and they don’t have the knowledge and expertise required to sell it.

To make homeowners more money from their sale, REALTOR’S® prepare a comparative market analysis, help set the right asking price, market with the expansive MLS network, and negotiate effectively on your behalf, all while staying within legal requirements. These are all potential problems and liabilities that can add up for FSBOs.

Lou Nimkoff, president of the Orlando Regional  REALTOR’S® Association, says, “REALTOR’S® know how to use their knowledge, expertise, connections, and resources, built over years and even decades, to sell homes. FSBOs often don’t have the kind of exposure or the resources needed to sell their home.”

Right now in Orlando, it’s a seller’s market, meaning the number of buyers outweighs the number of sellers. This is great news for you if you’re selling your home. But as a FSBO, it means evaluating the questions and offers that buyers are throwing your way.

Typically, FSBOs have many other responsibilities, and they don’t have the time to dedicate to selling their home as a REALTOR® would. From listing the home and fielding the questions to negotiating the offers and handling the closing process, REALTORS® commit their time, knowledge and expertise to selling your home.

REALTOR® or no REALTOR®? That is the Question

Not working with a REALTOR® can be tempting to many homeowners, especially with the rise of instant home purchase sites that allow you to sell your home online immediately. Many homeowners consider this option because it’s quick and they think the offer is fair. In reality, by doing this, or by trying to sell it themselves, homeowners could be leaving thousands of dollars on the table.

REALTORS® offer the greatest opportunity to sell faster, more efficiently and for the best possible price, making it a much smoother process for the homeowner. Plus, working in their local markets every day, REALTORS® know their local markets like the back of their hands, better than any website. They offer expert knowledge that will help get your home ready for sale, and when it comes to exposure, REALTORS® have the reach to market your home to the widest possible audience. They know how to manage offers and qualify buyers, working diligently to find the perfect one who will take care of your home just as you did.

Professionals in their field, REALTORS® also have the expertise needed to negotiate the terms of the sale and get the best offer possible. Finally, each REALTOR® commits their professional career to following the REALTOR® code of ethics, which includes a pledge to protect and promote the interests of their clients.

At first, selling by yourself might seem more cost-effective, but in the long-run, you may end up with more stress, less time and less money.

The benefits of using a REALTOR® are paramount compared to selling through other means. REALTORS® devote their efforts to getting to know you and your home inside and out, so you can set the right price from the beginning, have a smooth selling process and get the best possible outcome of the sale.

No matter your reason for selling your home, make sure you start and end the process the right way. Learn more by visiting OrlandoRealtors.com/FSBO.  

The Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association (ORRA) is one of the largest local trade associations in Florida, with more than 15,000 members in Orange, Seminole, and the surrounding counties. The mission of ORRA is to provide state-of-the-art, cost effective information, services and programs to advance the professional careers of its members.

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