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  • Writer's pictureTroy Ericson

Hurricane Idalia... and a surprise

I was scheduled to fly home last Monday & prepare for Hurricane Idalia that was heading straight for Tampa. But my flight got cancelled due to a totally different storm.

Not going to lie, I panicked a bit because I wasn't going to make it home to prepare.

Last year before Hurricane Ian, there was a LOT of prep that needed to be done FAST. The news, the mayor, etc, said that it was coming right toward Tampa & everyone need to get the eff out of town.

I live on the water. Everything needs to be moved off the floor, or upstairs (or everything you own gets ruined). Hurricane shutters need to be put up. Sandbags need to be put in front of the doors (the lines to get them last year were HOURS long, so some of my team went to the beach & made our own)...

And a million other things you try to remember to protect your home before you lock up, leave, and hope for the best.

Well, I called my COO Dom & asked how we were going to do this since I couldn't make it. Turns out, I have the best team in the world. Dom, Marilys, Jesus, and Cal were all in town & took care of it. It was way easier this year because of our experience & prep from last year.

I felt better, but still nervous.

As I followed the hurricane on Twitter, it kept heading more north, and eventually I quit paying attention to it because the new path made it impossible for a direct hit on Tampa.

However... as a 2 year Floridian, I didn't realize that when a hurricane just misses you to the west, the majority of the water gets pushed east toward you.

I woke up the next day & saw my neighborhood Facebook group was in a panic. The worst flooding in 50 years:

Not the kind of flooding where people have to climb on their roof to survive... But the kind of flooding where HUNDREDS (if not thousands) of homes in my neighborhood are ruined.

Once flood water gets in, the process looks like this:

1. Wait a couple days until you the water is low enough for you to get to your home

2. Feel your heartbeat racing as you open the door & smell that your home was ruined, taking soggy steps inside

3. Call insurance, file a claim, and wait weeks

4. Move into another home temporarily, which may not be covered by insurance

5. The restoration company comes, rips up your floor, cuts out the bottom 2 feet of your drywall, and places huge drying fans in your house for a week until it's dry

6. Only then can they get to work.

So basically, you're out of your home for weeks or months, probably get screwed by insurance, lose a bunch of money due to consequences that aren't covered by insurance, lose a bunch of your stuff, can't live your life normally for awhile, etc.

(not to mention the entire value of the neighborhood just dipped & most of us probably lost 6 figures)

The most stressful part was, I was gone & had no idea if this was my fate. The power was out so I couldn't check my cameras. But there was a neighbor who flew a drone over the neighborhood & posted it in the Facebook Group to help people get an eye on their house.

But it was really really tough to tell if the water got inside. Like I said, most of my neighbors were not so lucky. A house down the street even caught on fire & the fire department couldn't get to it. So it just burned.

When the streets FINALLY opened up for trucks, the police were kind enough to let Dom into the neighborhood even though they were checking IDs for your address to prevent looting.

I got a call as soon as he got to the front of the house. My heart was racing, praying that I wouldn't have to go through everything above.

Dom gave me the play-by-play...

- There was evidence that the entire street flooded in a couple feet of water.

- The entire yard & driveway flooded.

- Water got about 6 inches up the side of my house.

- The front door of my house is on a 6 inch step. You can see the watermark in the pic below.

- He opened the door... and it was dry.

He shut the alarm off, checked the back, checked the garage, and only found a little water in the garage.

What does this mean?

***If the water got literally 1 inch higher, my house would have flooded.***

I made him double-check everywhere because I was in disbelief.

But it turned out that the house was indeed, bone dry on the inside. And the power came back on.

Funny enough, there was a package in the living room that arrived last week. I knew what it was, but Dom didn't

I asked Dom to FaceTime me & open the package. To his surprise, there was a gift inside that I planned on giving him the day before. But I figured now would be a great time for all his help in keeping me & Julia's home safe (and Email Paramedic HQ).

It's an Email Paramedic Clickfunnels Award with his name on it. I figured it would be more memorable to do it then & there:

So... All this to say...

A very scary moment turned into a very grateful moment. Thanks for all you do Dom.

- Troy

PS If you'd like to join me in donating to support my neighborhood, I found a charity called BabyCycle that is collecting donations so they can provide essentials for parents of newborns that either lost all their stuff or their home. You can click here to donate.

PPS Today I found out my rental property down the street (that my friends live in) didn't get so lucky. The room downstairs did have 6 inches of water & I'm not looking forward to the headaches, losing a bunch of money, & possibly displacing one of my friends. I was actually pretty shocked about it because that house is built like a fortress. But all in all, I am grateful. And I want to contribute to those who had it worse.

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