Hurricane season officially kicked off on June 1, 2021. Although many Floridians do not start to really tune into the tropics until later in the summer, it is always a good idea to be prepared with a plan. When it comes to real estate, there are several things that you will want to address in advance of any storms approaching our area.
What is the hurricane forecast for this year?
The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting another above-normal Atlantic hurricane season. Forecasters predict a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and a 10% chance of a below-normal season. However, experts do not anticipate the historic level of storm activity seen in 2020. Overall, a likely scenario would be a range of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher). This would include 3 to 5 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). These ranges are provided by NOAA with a 70% confidence level. To put these predictions into perspective, an average hurricane season produces 14 named storms, of which 7 become hurricanes, including 3 major hurricanes.
Hurricane preparedness items
It is never too early to be prepared for a hurricane making landfall where you reside. A few items to consider in your preparations include, but are not limited to:
- Make an emergency plan with your family. This should include an evacuation route, if applicable. (You should confirm the flood zone for your home now.)
- Sign up for alerts from NOAA, weather stations, & local news stations.
- Locate important personal documents & be prepared to take them with you should you need to evacuate.
- Check you insurance policy: Now is a good time to confirm your insurance coverage. Should you need to make changes, you still have time to do so. Once there is a named storm, it is unlikely that changes will be able to be made to your coverage.
- Gather your hurricane supplies: Items such as non-perishable food, water, batteries, & flashlights are good to have ready to go. In fact, the 2021 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday for the state of Florida goes from May 29 – June 6, 2021. As of this article’s publication, you still have a few days to take advantage of these tax savings.
- Prepare your windows & doors: Ideally, you should have high-impact windows and doors throughout your house. If not, it is important that you have some form of hurricane protection such as shutters or even 1/2″ marine plywood to cover all openings.
- Clean your gutters: It is a good idea to ensure that your gutters are clear from any obstruction to ensure that rain is diverted away from the home.
Last year was a record-breaking hurricane season and this should serve as a reminder for everyone living in a coastal community. Although NOAA scientists do not expect this hurricane season to be as busy as last year’s, it is important to remember that it only takes one strong storm to wreak havoc on a community. As a reminder, the Atlantic hurricane season extends from June 1st through November 30th. Typically, the peak of the season runs from mid-August through early October.
When looking for a home to buy in South Florida, it is important to consider items such as flood zones, vulnerabilities to storms, and hurricane protection for the home. As natives to South Florida, we are experts in these areas and have guided many of our clients to make wise decisions regarding their hurricane preparedness. Do you have questions? We can help. Contact Live South Florida Realty, Inc. today!