TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With the start of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season just days away and Tropical Storm Ana having recently battered the Carolinas, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) urges residents in coastal states not to be complacent about hurricane preparation.
It has been almost a decade since Hurricane Wilma, the last category 3 or higher storm, made U.S. landfall in October 2005. Over that time hurricane-prone states such as Florida and Texas have continued to grow in population at a fast rate. Some counties in these states are among the fastest growing areas in the country. In fact, according to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, 1,000 people move to the sunshine state each day, many are retirees and young working families. Additionally, it is estimated that insured coastal properties at risk of being impacted by a hurricane totals over $10 billion.
Today, the NOAA released they anticipate another quiet hurricane season, but that doesn’t mean storms can’t develop quickly leaving you without much warning. Remember, it only takes one storm to cause massive amounts of damage to your home and community.
“There are a tremendous number of people who moved to coastal areas in the last 10 years and it is important for them, as well as all residents, to not take hurricane preparations for granted,” said Chris Hackett, PCI’s director of personal lines policy. “With so many people in coastal areas never having experienced a major hurricane, we are encouraging residents not to let their guard slip and take the necessary steps to be fully prepared especially when it comes to their insurance policy. Now, when things are calm, is the best time to get prepared. Have your emergency kit ready to go, prepare your property, conduct a home inventory, and talk with your insurance agent or company about your policy and consider coverage options such as flood insurance.”
Flood policies must be purchased separately through the National Flood Insurance Program or by contacting your insurance company or agent. Flooding from storm surges during hurricanes and tropical storms can be especially dangerous for residents along the coast and further inland. According to the National Weather Service, rising water levels can cause extreme flooding, particularly when a storm surge coincides with normal high tide.
“As we reflect on the 10 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, we are reminded that storm surge and flooding often pose the greatest threat to life and property,” said Hackett. “However, flooding can happen in any state. With squalls of heavy rain associated with hurricanes and tropical storms, it’s important to make sure you financially prepare for coastal and inland flooding. PCI encourages homeowners to think about purchasing a flood insurance policy and note that there is a 30-day waiting period between the date you purchase flood insurance and when coverage takes effect. So you don’t want to wait for a storm to appear on the radar before you seek to protect your property.”
PCI has a wide range of resources available at its Hurricane Headquarters to help homeowners and businesses prepare for the upcoming 2015 hurricane season. Follow us on Twitter (@PCIAA) and use #calmbeforestorm or #hurricaneprep to keep the conversation going.
Also be sure to check out PCI’s Online Interactive Hurricane Magazine.