As we watch the internet and social media we see similar questions posted daily. If you live in Tampa and have post Hurricane Irma questions, we have answers. Here is what we have been seeing:
What do I do with the sandbags?
Recycle them or dispose of them properly. If the bags did not get wet in the storm, you can store them and reuse them, Wet or Dry according to Tampa Solid Waste you can spread them on your lawn, or in your garden beds. DO NOT toss them in the trash bin, the sand does not burn and DO NOT sprinkle them or pile them into your yard debris; it damages the equipment used at the recycling facility that will grind our storm debris into mulch.
When are they going to pick up the storm debris in my yard?
Good news is SOON! But you have to follow a few rules to ensure they don't pass your yard, visit The Scoop on Storm Debris Pick Up in Tampa - Things to Know to learn what you need to do as debris pick up begins this week.
Should I file an insurance claim if the damage is minor?
If you have insurance, yes, file a claim. Even if it is something minor and will only apply towards your deductible, we are still in Hurricane season, and the sad truth is you may have an additional claim before it's over. AND be sure YOU contact them, do not take calls from your insurer, they do not call you, it's probably a scammer. Take pictures and file your claim.
When can I and How do I register a claim with FEMA?
You may be eligible and need to get your claim in quickly. FEMA can help out to the tune of $33,000 per claim which includes temporary housing, household repairs, medical services, household equipment and home goods. On your phone, you can utilize the FEMA Mobile App or find internet access and register for assistance online at DisasterAssistance.gov. You can also call 1-800-621-3362, TTY residents can use -1-800462-7585. Call anytime between 7 am and 11 pm 7-days a week.
What if I need to hire someone to help me?
If you require a service provider, an electrician, plumber, contractor etc...research the company first. Use popular sites like Angie's List and be sure to check your local Better Business Bureau for complaints. Ask to see their license and check it at Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation - Verify a License.
Is it OK to return all the supplies I bought before the storm to my local supply store?
Yes, it is, but many would ask if it is the right thing to do? In one instance the answer may be yes! Though many feel the Home store was there for you before the storm, and it's not fair to the employees and staff at that store to return everything you bought, in the case of generators, stores are welcoming your returns! If you have no place to store a generator and no longer want it, take it back to the store. As soon as they are returned, they are being bought by folks without power. In the case of building supplies, we recommend you donate them to local charities like Habitat for Humanity. They build homes for the less fortunate and will put your supplies to good use!
Where can I find Restaurants open in Tampa after the storm?
Many of our favorite places are down for the count sustaining damage or simply have no electricity. Don't head out and be disappointed, make plans and choose one of these restaurants in Tampa open and hoping you will stop in. The loss in revenue by restaurants alone in the Tampa Bay areas is estimated in six-figures. We encourage you to go out and support local businesses by enjoying a hot meal at a local restaurant. Find places open in Tampa in: Find Restaurants In Tampa Open After the Storm.
Kids driving you crazy, want to know what you can do with your children to keep them entertained in Tampa?
Visit Post-Irma Family Entertainment Options | What's Open in Tampa Bay for an excellent list of local businesses and attractions ready to erase boredom from the equation! Another family friendly event takes place this weekend on the water. It's a donation drive too. From our friends at iTREKKERS register for this free event and have some fun! Visit TAMPA: Free Family Fun Day on the Bay for Hurricane Irma Relief on Sunday, September 17 for details and to register.
I have Cabin Fever! What's happening in Tampa to take my mind off things for awhile?
Check out Top 10 Things to Do This Weekend in Tampa Bay 9/15 -9/17 and REGISTER on 813area to stay connected to EVENTS in TAMPA, THINGS TO DO IN TAMPA and much more.
Let us know if you live in Tampa and have additional post Hurricane Irma questions; we are happy to get you the answers you need! And visit our HURRICANE IRMA PAGE for more articles about the storm. (Cover photo was taken in Tampa by Drew Coffman)