After a powerful hurricane like that which affected Florida last month, policyholders are often left to deal with the damage to their homes and businesses caused by the powerful winds brought by those storms. Wind storm damage can be extensive and costly, and it is important to ensure that you properly document the damage in order to file a timely insurance claim. Given that Hurricane Irma recently caused significant damage in West Central Florida, now is a good time to learn more about wind storm damage produced by hurricanes and how to plan in advance to prevent this type of damage when a hurricane again threatens Florida in the future.
If your home or business suffered damage as a result of Hurricane Irma here in Florida, it is important for you to understand your insurance policies and how to pursue a claim if your house is damaged or destroyed. It is too late to change a policy now if it does not cover all the damages you expect to sustain, but you can still hold your insurer responsible for what you are entitled to.
While the Tampa Bay area has been spared the destruction of a severe hurricane thus far this summer, it is important to remember that hurricane season in the Atlantic does not end officially until November. According to a recent report from CBS 10 News, a new study suggests that the Tampa Bay area may be most susceptible to damage from a truly devastating hurricane. With rising sea levels and climate change occurring, West Central Florida appears to be more vulnerable-and perhaps among the most vulnerable areas in the state-to catastrophic damage from a major hurricane.
For years, Florida residents enjoyed summer after summer of hurricane-free weather. That was until Hurricane Matthew broke the cycle in 2016. While many thought they were covered, some discovered far too late that their coverage wasn't enough.
National and local weather agencies are taking additional steps to help Florida residents better comprehend the risks associated with tropical cyclones. Beginning with the 2017 hurricane season (which starts June 1), the National Hurricane Center will issue storm surge alerts, with maps of affected areas.
Even though Hurricane Matthew has been downgrade to a category 3 hurricane, the storm is still expected to cause considerable damage all along Florida's east coast. With winds expected to reach 120 mph and a storm surge that has already caused flooding in northeast Florida, says one Weather Channel article, it's already starting to look bad for home and business owners in our state.
At this moment, Hurricane Matthew is fast approaching Florida and is expected to hit landfall on Friday. This Category 4 storm could very well wreak havoc on homes all along the east coast of Florida, causing storm and water damage, which is why it's important to consider following these six steps:
Residents of West Florida recently braced as Hurricane Hermine plowed into the Gulf of Mexico. Shifting rapidly from a tropical depression to a hurricane, the storm threatened to do significant hurricane damage to Florida's Gulf Coast. As a recent article in USA Today pointed out, Hermine was the first hurricane to make landfall in Florida in 11 years. It touched down as a Category 1 hurricane "just south of Apalachicola, Fla., dumped heavy rain, and sustained winds of 80 miles per hour," the article reported. While the maximum sustained winds reached only 80 miles per hour, gusts of up to 100 miles per hour were recorded. The last hurricane to strike Florida was Hurricane Wilma, which made landfall in 2005.
With substantial focus on El Niño over the winter months, and more recently La Niña, should Floridians be anticipating a shift in this year's hurricane season? Every year, the Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June 1 until November 30, but as of right now, forecasters cannot seem to agree upon whether the weather patterns from recent months will impact the probability of hurricane formation in a manner that is anomalous from other recent years. In short, a recent report from The Weather Channel indicated that the "2016 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be the most active since 2012," while another recent article in USA Today indicated that "top meteorologists from Colorado State University forecast a near-average Atlantic hurricane season this year."
We have already seen a relatively large amount of activity in the Atlantic prior to the start of summer, according to a recent report from AccuWeather.com. But is the mere fact that we have already seen a "C"-named storm a sign that Florida could experience a particularly intense hurricane season? As most West Central Floridians know, hurricane season begins on June 1 and goes through the end of November, according to a storm season chart from the U.S. State Department. While Tropical Storm Colin did approach Florida after the start of hurricane season, the fact that we have already seen a good amount of tropical weather this year suggests that more storms, including hurricanes, may be in store.