2013 Hurricane Season Forecasted to be Active
Last week the annual hurricane predications have begun to roll out for the 2013 season. “Hurricane season” runs from June 1 through November 30 with peak season from approximately September 15 to October 15 each year. Dr. William Gray, the renowned Colorado State University climatologist at The Tropical Meteorology Project is predicting the fourth busy storm season in a row for this year. According to his 2013 Atlantic hurricane season forecast, he predicts 18 named storms, including nine hurricanes of which four will be major storms (category 3 or higher). The average season sees 12 storms, including six hurricanes, three with winds greater than 110 mph.
Here on Amelia Island we are extraordinarily blessed to be well insulated from the problem of hurricanes. Our unique position near the Florida-Georgia state line, at the inside of the elbow joint on the Atlantic coastline, seems to keep us safe from the vast majority of Atlantic storm activity. An excellent resource for historic hurricane data and information is Jim Williams site, Hurricanecity.com. Big or small, Mr. Williams tracks and records it all.
I am reminded however this week by the Florida Insurance commissioner, if you are living in a water-oriented community (like ours) there is never a better time for you to think about calling and speaking with your insurance agent about the benefits and costs associated with flood insurance in your home community. Having survived Hurricane Katrina myself and with relatives still slogging it out on repairs to their homes in Staten Island in NY, I cannot possibly stress importance of this conversation enough.
The Florida Insurance Commissioner provides helpful information at their website. It will cost you nothing to call and ask your home insurance agent about this today and yet it could save you thousands of dollars and many tears in the long run. Typically there is a 30-day waiting period for any new policy written so now is the time to evaluate this matter for your home, family and belongings. Also keep in mind that once a storm is given a name, there will be a freeze on writing a flood policy until the threat from that particular storm has passed. As an added FYI – this is the perfect time to discuss what is and is not covered by your existing homeowner’s policy (the pool? the pool enclosure? septic system?) and compare that to what would be covered by an actual National Flood Insurance policy.
A great deal of the heartache (and eventual litigation) for homeowners in Katrina-land was caused by an inadequate understanding of the insurance industry’s definitions of wind-driven water versus rising flood water, surge and other terms. If you would like to explore this topic further before picking up the phone, the National Flood Insurance Program’s consumer website is a great resource at Floodsmart.gov.