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Aldridge & Sons Plumbing
5151 Sunbeam Rd, Suite #5
Jacksonville, Florida 32257
(904) 287-3855
CFC# 1426235

 

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Are You Prepared This Hurricane Season?

By Bill Aldridge

Aldridge & Sons Plumbing Contractors, Inc. strongly encourages you and your family to be prepared each Hurricane Season.

When was the last time you remember hearing of a storm developing in early May or a storm being named in May, let alone hitting Jacksonville, FL? It took me some time to think, but there was Tropical Storm Beryl which developed back in 2012. Yes Beryl, packing winds up to 70 miles per hour made landfall near Jacksonville Beach on May 28, 2012. Before Beryl do you remember the name of the storm from 2008? It did not hit in May but I remember this storm, it was Fay. I remember Fay more than Beryl, because we were without power for 4 days and some of our friends were out power for a week.

This year our season started early with Ana.  Even though Ana turned out to be nothing major, what if she developed in to major storm and what if Jacksonville was in the CONE of her path? I ask you, were you prepared? I can honestly say this season I am not yet prepared. 

Living in the Jacksonville area, I feel we all become more relaxed as time passes, due to the unlikeliness of Jacksonville being in the path of a storm. Although the threat does exist for a direct hit by a major hurricane, Jacksonville, Florida has suffered less damage from hurricanes than most other east coast cities. 

Having a hurricane season checklist should include many items, and one item should be plumbing. I hear you now or can imagine your eyes are rolling as you are thinking seriously plumbing! Yes plumbing. Important things that you, the homeowner should know, is the location of where the main water cut off to your home is as well as the location of the cleanout to your main sewer line. I know we have written about these two topics previously, however knowing where things are in advance and ensuring they work properly, will help you during such a stressful time. Honestly can you say you have checked where they are or even tested if they work properly? The last thing you want to do is to be looking around trying to figure out where these are located, then find out they do not work. 

You are probably asking why would knowing where these two items are be so important when there are many other things I need to do.  Well if during a tropical storm or worse a hurricane, a pipe breaks within your home, after the storm has passed and we receive the all clear to go outside, you want to be able to cut the water off until we can get there to repair the pipe.  If the lift stations or sewer treatment plants are down in the area, this could cause back-ups in your home. Again after the storm has passed and we receive the all clear to go outside, by unscrewing the cap to your sewer, this should allow the sewer to flow out verse’s flowing in your home.  Here are our few tips to locate these valves
Main Valve –This is generally located outside by the front hose bibb or where the main water enters the home.

Cleanout Location – There many various locations as to where this cleanout can be located at your home. The best way I can describe for you to look is usually this is in line with the main vent to the house or your septic tank.

In addition to knowing where your cuts off vales are at your home, you should know where your paperwork is for your homeowner’s insurance, car insurance etc. Also be sure you have a water tight container to be place your important paperwork in. My wife experienced Hurricane Andrew first hand. When she had to evacuate her home, she took these documents with her in a Tupperware. She was very thankful she did as throughout the storm, water was pouring in from the roof and needless to say everything was getting wet except her important paperwork. Having the documents with her, saved valuable time after the storm too as she was able to contact her insurance company and provide them with the necessary information to begin the process of filing her claim.  

Be sure throughout the season, you stock up on non-perishable items that you know you will eat.  Also purchase some comfort food too. These items will not go to waste as they can be incorporated back in to your stock when the season is over. There are some many tips and helpful hints I can give you, however you the homeowner should become aware of what you may need and or need to do to be prepared. You never know when we will be in the CONE. The cost is minimal to stock up on items that you can use during and after a storm then being without.

The Emergency Management, Red Cross and other organizations publish each year a guide. Please take the time to read these guides. 

As always if you have any questions please feel free to contact us.

Aldridge & Sons Plumbing can provide any Plumbing Service that you may require. We are licensed and insured, provide 24 hour service and are locally owned and operated. Contact us today.