TALLAHASSEE, Fla- While we’ve not had much activity this hurricane season in the Atlantic basin, the threat of a storm quickly developing is still a possibility. Historically, September is an active month for hurricanes and it only takes one storm to cause massive amounts of property damage according to The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). During September PCI, along with many of our members, will participate in National Preparedness Month which focuses on themes each week and the September 30, National PrepareAthon Day.
“With the lull in storms it can be easy for residents in coastal states to become complacent and not take time to get prepared,” said Christopher Hackett, PCI director of personal lines policy. However, as we reflect on the 15 year anniversary of Hurricane Rita, it’s important we remember the damage this storm caused to many communities along the coast. Intense winds and 15 foot storm surge wreaked havoc in southwestern Louisiana.
“While insurers were there to help in the rebuilding process and will continue to offer support to our policyholders, there are many things homeowners can do to become financially ready for any natural catastrophe,” said Hackett.
PCI urges residents living in hurricane prone areas to stay informed as we go through the peak hurricane season. In addition to preparing your property and having an emergency kit, it’s also just as important to contact your insurance agent to make sure you have the right amount of coverage.
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. In some cases, storm surge can reach heights well over 20 feet and can span hundreds of miles of coastline.
“Hurricane Rita and Katrina are good reminders of how powerful rising water can be and it’s extreme threats to life and property,” added Hackett.
It’s important homeowners especially those who have never been through a storm know that flood insurance is not covered by your standard homeowners policy, and you may want to purchase additional coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program. Keep in mind that there’s typically a 30-day waiting period between the date of purchase and when flood coverage takes effect.
As we enter the month of September, we encourage you to join in on the conversation about preparedness, register for National PrepareAthon Day and conduct a drill on September 30th. PCI will continue to engage on social media using hashtags #Natlprep #PrepareAthon
Hurricane Season Resources: