A new AAA study finds more Floridians are making advanced preparations for hurricane season
Back-to-back active hurricane seasons in 2016 and 2017 seem to have been a wakeup call for Florida residents. According to a recent AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey, 81% of residents are making advanced preparations for hurricane season – a 23 percent increase from 2016.
Hurricane Season 2018
Hurricane season runs from June 1st – November 30th and experts are forecasting a very active year. Colorado State University Meteorology Project team is predicting:
- Named Storms: 14
- Hurricanes: 7
- Major Hurricanes (category 3 or higher): 3
Based on AAA findings, if a named storm were to cause an evacuation, the majority of Floridians would heed official warnings and leave their homes. However, of those who would evacuate, more than half (62%) say they would only leave for a category three hurricane or greater.
“Major hurricanes like Harvey and Irma seem to be making residents more aware of the dangers of hurricane season and the need to make advanced preparations,” said Bobby Futch, Vice-President of Insurance Claims, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Storm preparations should include having a storm kit, evacuation plan, and proper insurance coverage, which includes flood insurance.”
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, more than two in three (70%) 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.
“Nearly half of residents in Florida do not know there is normally a 30-day waiting period for a new flood policy to take effect,” said Matt Nasworthy, Florida Public Affairs Director, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “If you wait until a named storm is moving in your direction, you will be too late. Now is the 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 – One-third of Floridians DO NOT have an emergency plan in place in the event of a natural disaster. 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 smartphone. 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 homeowner’s insurance with your insurance agent to determine if you have adequate protection. Discuss your deductibles. Be aware that flood insurance is not typically covered under your Homeowners policy. Flooding to your automobile is available under the Physical Damage coverage.