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How to Prepare for Hurricane Season

Florida is often a victim of the Atlantic hurricane season. These storms can bring catastrophic devastation, so it’s crucial to prepare for the damage to come. Read Klotzman Property Damage Law’s blog to learn more.

What is a hurricane?

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association uses four classifications for tropical cyclones: tropical depression, tropical storm, hurricane, and major hurricane. In this blog, we’ll be focusing on hurricanes and major hurricanes.

A tropical storm becomes a category one hurricane when winds reach a constant of 74 miles per hour or faster. At a category one classification, the storm is about 50,000 feet tall and 125 miles wide, with an eye from five to thirty miles across.

There are five types of hurricanes, ranging from mildly dangerous category one to catastrophic category five. Storms that reach category three or higher are classified as major hurricanes and can have wind speeds of 157 mph or higher.

When is hurricane season?

The Atlantic hurricane season typically lasts from the beginning of June to the end of November, with most storms occurring in August, September, and October. While these months are the most predictable for hurricanes, they can happen anytime.

Hurricane season predictions

NOAA predicts a 65% chance that 2022 will have an above-average hurricane season with a range of 14 to 21 named storms. The administration also predicts around six to ten hurricanes, with three to six being major hurricanes.

Remember that NOAA’s predictions are for overall season activity – not a landfall forecast. However, of the 301 hurricanes that made landfall in the United States since 1851, 120 hit Florida – about 40% of the total.

Dangers of hurricane season

Each category brings a certain level of danger. Let’s work through the risks associated with each category’s severity.  

Very Dangerous: Category 1

  • Wind speeds: 74 to 95 mph
  • Flying or falling debris could injure or kill people, pets, and livestock
  • Dangerous winds can destroy older mobile 
  • Frame homes could experience significant damage
  • Apartments, shopping centers, and industrial buildings could partially lose roofing and siding
  • Winds will snap tree branches will snap and uproot shallow-rooted trees 
  • Damage to power lines and poles could lead to multi-day power outages

Extremely Dangerous: Category 2

  • Wind speeds: 96 to 110 mph
  • Flying or falling debris causes a substantial risk of injury and death to people, pets, and livestock
  • Extremely dangerous winds bring significant risk of destruction to mobile homes 
  • Frame homes could experience significant damage to roofing and siding
  • Apartments, shopping centers, and industrial buildings are likely to receive roof and siding damage
  • Winds will snap or uproot shallow-rooted trees 
  • Potential for near-total power loss that lasts days or weeks

Devastating: Category 3 (major hurricane)

  • Wind speeds: 111 to 129 mph
  • Flying or falling debris causes a high risk of injury and death to people, pets, and livestock
  • Devastating winds can destroy older mobile homes are destroyed, and severely damage newer mobile homes 
  • Poorly constructed frame homes are destroyed, and well-built frame homes can experience significant damage
  • Apartments, shopping centers, and industrial buildings receive a high percentage of damage to roofing and siding
  • Winds will snap or uproot many trees
  • Electricity and water are unavailable for several days up to a few weeks

Catastrophic: Category 4 (major hurricane)

  • Wind speeds: 130 to 156 mph
  • Flying or falling debris causes an extremely high risk of injury and death to people, pets, and livestock
  • Catastrophic winds can destroy nearly all mobile homes 
  • Poorly constructed frame homes will completely collapse, and well-built frame homes sustain significant damage
  • Apartments, shopping centers, and industrial buildings face a high percentage of damage to structural damage on top floors
  • Winds will snap or uproot most trees and power poles
  • Electricity and water are unavailable for several weeks up to a few months

Catastrophic: Category 5 (major hurricane)

  • Wind speeds: >157 mph
  • Flying or falling debris causes an extremely high risk of injury and death to people, pets, and livestock, even while indoors
  • Catastrophic winds can destroy all mobile homes 
  • A high percentage of frame homes are destroyed 
  • A high percentage of apartments, shopping centers, and industrial buildings are destroyed
  • Winds will snap or uproot nearly all trees and power poles 
  • Electricity and water are unavailable for several weeks up to a few months

Preparing for hurricane season

Hurricanes can cause swathes of death and destruction, but there are steps you can take to protect your family and your property.

Listen to local alerts and warnings

If you live in Florida, it’s critical to sign up for emergency notifications with local organizations, monitor weather reports, and tune into NOAA weather radio. Additionally, keep an eye on hurricane advisories, watches, and warnings.

Prepare to evacuate

Learn the evacuation routes in your area and find the nearest emergency shelter location. You should also build your emergency kit, create a communication plan, and choose an out-of-state contact for your family to check in with.  

Protect your property

In a hurricane, putting your and your family’s well-being first is critical. However, you can take steps to protect your property. Consider installing sewer backflow valves, anchoring fuel tanks, guarding your windows, and cataloging your belongings.

Review your insurance policies

You must check to ensure that your policy limit will cover the cost of rebuilding your home. You may benefit from adding a policy if your coverage doesn’t include flooding. Make sure that you’re adequately protected before the storm hits.

Speak to the professionals

Hurricane season is deadly, so you must ensure you have all the information you need to prepare for severe weather adequately. Keep up with local news, prepare to evacuate, and review your insurance policies to protect yourself best.

If you’re having trouble with your insurance company, we can help you determine your options based on your insurance coverage. We will investigate, negotiate, and litigate your case to get you the results you deserve.

Schedule your free case review today with your Hollywood property damage attorney. When insurance companies fail, Klotzman Property Damage Law succeeds.

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