It’s that time of the year again! June 1st marks the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season which runs until the end of November. With over 10 yeas of no major storms complacency is high among Floridians. There are many new residents to our area that have never witnessed a hurricane threat or evacuation, but those of us that been residents back to 2005 or even back to 1992 know that being a Floridian means being prepared each summer and fall for for the threat of hurricanes.
This year has gotten off to unusual start, with Tropical Storm Alex occurring in January and Tropical Storm Bonnie just forming over the Carolinas before the actual season. This is a trend that experts are not expecting to slow down. In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts a 70% likelihood of 10-16 named storms of which 4-8 could become hurricanes (winds over 74 mph), including 1-4 major Category 3, 4, or 5 hurricanes (winds over 111 mph).
This year we also are expecting to transition into La Niña, marked by strong winds from the East that push warm Atlantic waters towards the US, with weaker Westerly trade winds. Typically, during La Niña is when many of the storms occur in the Atlantic basin as the storms off of Africa are able to develop.
So all that being said, the time to prepare is now! We encourage all of our insureds to review their current coverages, most notably your Homeowners & Flood Building and Contents limits, as well as your deductibles. If you’ve recently done any additions, construction, or made any big acquisitions, now more than ever is the time to contact your agent here at Insurance Resources.
As always, we encourage our insureds to document all of your belongings. You can do this using a computer spreadsheet, photos, video, or using a multitude of apps out there. The Insurance Information Institute has free online home inventory software available at www.knowyourstuff.org and also an app available through the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Another important step of hurricane preparedness is having a family plan in case of emergency. The Florida Division of Emergency Management has a website (//flgetaplan.com.) where you can build your own family or business plan. The plan has recommendations for making a disaster supply kit, which includes food, water, first aid kits, radios, cash, clothing and more. Preparing now can alleviate headaches if a storm were to take a surprise move and start barreling towards Tampa Bay. The plan also includes emergency contact phone numbers and evacuation routes.
Another great asset available is the Emergency Financial Preparedness Toolkit made by the Department of Financial services. This is a great way to document all of your insurance contact info.
If a storm were to affect Tampa Bay, our agency would make efforts to relocate if necessary. Since we work in a cloud-based environment, we expect very little downtime. We urge all insureds to follow us on Facebook and like us on Twitter so you can keep up to date with Insurance Resources in the sun and in showers.
Below are a few more links that may be helpful in preparing for hurricane season.
- DFS Emergency Financial Prepardness Toolkit
- Pinellas County Emergency Management
- Pinellas County Evacuation Information & Maps
- Pinellas County Offices
- NFIP Flood Insurance Claims Handbook
As always, we encourage you to contact your agent with any insurance questions or if a claim arrises. You can also reach Brian Ford at BFord@InsuranceResourcesLLC.com