Hurricane Season officially began on June 1 and continues through November 30, peaking from late August through September.
This hurricane season doesn’t look to be as busy as past ones. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts a 70 percent chance of fewer than normal hurricanes, mostly because of an El Niño weather oscillation. But even a quiet season can have one devastating storm hit. That’s what happened when Hurricane Andrew (Category 5) smashed parts of Miami in 1992; it was the second costliest hurricane on record, in a below average year for overall hurricane activity. A below average year does not mean less chance of a major hurricane.
It’s also important for people to understand that, “The number of hurricanes each year is less important than the location of where the next hurricane will come ashore. It only takes one hurricane that pushes storm surge into a major metropolitan area for the damage to tally in the billions of dollars. With new home construction, and any amount of sea-level rise, the number of homes at risk of storm surge damage will continue to increase,” according to hazard risk scientist, Dr. Tom Jeffery.
The latest storm surge report indicates more than 6.6 million homes on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are at risk of hurricane storm surge inundation with a total reconstruction cost value (RCV) of nearly $1.5 trillion. At a regional level, the Gulf Coast has just under 2.8 million homes at risk and nearly $549 billion in potential exposure to total destruction damage.
Homeowners should also be informed that many homes outside designated FEMA flood zones are still at risk for storm surge damage. Standard FEMA flood zones are designed to identify areas at risk for both freshwater flooding, as well as storm surge, based on the likelihood of either a 100-year or 500-year flood event. They do not differentiate risk based on storm severity, and as a result, do not accurately define the total extent of potential risk along coastal areas. Homeowners who live outside the FEMA flood zones frequently do not carry flood insurance, given that there is no mandate to do so, and therefore may not be aware of the potential risk storm surge poses to their properties.
Contact your local insurance agent to find out more about the right coverage for your home.
For more information, see the full CoreLogic Storm Surge Report.
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