AAA study finds 17 percent more are making advanced preparations
Last year’s active hurricane season, most notably Hurricane Matthew, is causing an increase in the number of Floridians making advanced preparations for hurricane season. According to a recent AAA Consumer Pulse survey™, three in four (77%) residents are making advanced preparations for hurricane season – a 17 percent increase over last year.
Hurricane season officially begins June 1st, but we have already seen one named storm. Officials predict this will be an active year. The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) hurricane forecast predicts:
- Named Storms: 11 – 17
- Hurricanes: 5 – 9
- Major Hurricanes (category 3 or higher): 2 – 4
Based on AAA findings, if a named storm were to cause evacuation warnings, one- fifth (18%) of Floridians would not leave their homes. However, of those who would evacuate, more than half (58%) say they would only leave for a category three hurricane or greater.
“While it’s sad it took a devastating storm like Hurricane Matthew to wake residents up, it’s encouraging to see more people planning ahead,” said Doug Iannarelli, Regional Director, AAA Insurance. “Now is the time to begin making preparations for hurricane season. Part of that preparation includes having a storm kit, evacuation plan, and proper insurance coverage, which includes flood insurance. Every home is in a flood zone, whether you live near the coast or not.”
Flood Disaster Facts
Floods are the number one disaster in the United States. Homes in low-risk zones account for nearly 20 percent of flood claims every year. Just two inches of water in a 2,000 square foot home, can cause as much as $21,000 or more in damage. However, nearly two in three (67%) Floridians do not have flood insurance, which is separate from homeowners insurance. A ‘preferred risk’ flood insurance policy costing less than a dollar a day will cover $100,000 in structural damage and $40,000 for damage to contents inside the home.
“The majority of residents in Florida do not know there is normally a 30-day waiting period for a new flood policy to take effect,” said Josh Carrasco, spokesperson, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “If you wait until a storm is named and heading your direction, you will be too late. Now is a great time to check with your insurance agent to ensure you are covered before the busy storm season begins.”
AAA’s Hurricane Preparation Tips
- Secure Your Home – Inspect your home for minor repairs needed to roof, windows, downspouts, etc. Trim trees or bushes that could cause damage to your home in case of high winds.
- Make a Plan – Develop a Family Emergency Plan to include ways to contact each other, alternative meeting locations, and an out-of-town contact person. Identify a safe room or safest areas in your home. Research your evacuation route. Be sure and include plans for your pets.
- Take Inventory – Update your home inventory by walking through your home with a video camera or smart phone. Keep a record of large purchases including the cost of the item, when purchased and model and serial numbers as available.
- Stock Emergency Supplies – Plan for a week’s worth of non-perishable food and water. Be sure and have flashlights, extra batteries, battery-powered radio, medications, first aid kit, blankets, toiletries, diapers, etc. You may also want to prepare a portable kit and keep in your car should you evacuate.
- Protect Your Property – Review your homeowners’ insurance with your insurance agent to determine if you have adequate protection. Discuss your deductibles. Be aware that flood insurance in not typically covered under your homeowners’ policy. Flooding to your automobile is available under the Physical Damage coverage.