For those living or working in the Atlantic hurricane region, June 1st rarely passes unnoticed. At Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk, we understand that preparing for hurricane season is rarely easy and often stressful. We also understand that a lack of awareness and preparation can lead to disaster, and that the best way to limit the risks posed by hurricanes is to take preventative steps.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Outlook predicts a 50% chance of a below-normal season, a 40% chance of a near-normal season and only a 10% chance of an above-normal season. According to NOAA, the 2014 hurricane season will bring:
- 8 – 13 Named Storms (winds of 39 mph or higher)
- 3 – 6 Hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher)
- 1 – 2 Major Hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or higher)
These numbers are near or below the 1981 to 2010 seasonal averages of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes. “Though we expect El Niño to suppress the number of storms this season,” NOAA administrator, Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, reminds us that, “it’s important to remember it takes only one land falling storm to cause a disaster.”
The 2014 hurricane season will also see changes in the information provided by the National Hurricane Center, including:
- A smaller tropical cyclone forecast cone
- The addition of a Potential Storm Surge Flooding Map, which will highlight areas where storm surge inundation could occur and the height above ground level that the water could reach
- The elimination of the Intensity Probability Table due to misleading estimates of landfall intensity and excessive reliance on these estimates by the public
Though different situations call for different measures, here are some tips that can help you weather a storm.
Before the Storm
- Monitor the news to allow time to prepare.
- Identify all tools and equipment that will be needed to secure property before a storm and limit the damage after the storm (flashlights, batteries, caulking, tarpaulins, sandbags, cutting and fastening equipment, etc.).
- Clear drains and downspouts to minimize the risk of flooding.
- Move items inside.
- Unplug electrical equipment and move property away from windows.
- Check and secure all documents and records.
- Take or update photographs of real and personal property.
- Gather insurance policies and agent/insurer contact information.
After the Storm
- Only after it has been declared safe to do so, take reasonably necessary steps to protect against any further property damage.
- Report fallen power lines to power company immediately—stay away from them!
- Check exterior walls and roof for damage from wind, rain, flying objects and rising waters (flood insurance).
- Check all interior perimeter walls, floors and roof for leaks and water damage.
- Document all damage with photographs and video.
- Prepare detailed damage reports.
- Call your insurer or agent as soon as possible to report damage.
While preparing for Hurricane Season is never easy, our team of experienced and responsive professionals can work with you to make sure that your personal and business property are protected in the event of a hurricane. With over 30 years of experience dealing with tropical storms and hurricanes, Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk has a long history of helping our clients prepare before the storm and, more importantly, providing support through the process of rebuilding after the storm.
If you would like more information about protecting your personal and business property during the 2014 Hurricane Season, please contact us.
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