Florida – A new AAA survey shows most Floridians are now making advanced storm preparations in the wake of the recent back-to-back active hurricane seasons.
The most recent AAA Consumer Pulse™ survey indicated 81 percent of Florida residents are taking preemptive measures to prepare for the newly begun 2018 hurricane season. The number of Floridians preparing early has increased 23 percent from 2016.
Hurricane season begins on June 1 and continues through November 30. Experts, such as the Colorado State University Meteorology Project team, expect 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three category three or higher hurricanes during the 2018 season.
According to the survey, most Floridians would leave their homes if officials ordered an evacuation due to a named storm. Of those potential evacuees, 62 percent say they would only leave for a category three or higher.
“Major hurricanes like Harvey and Irma seem to be making residents more aware of the dangers of hurricane season and the need to make advanced preparations,” said AAA’s Vice-President of Insurance Claims, Bobby Futch. “Storm preparations should include having a storm kit, evacuation plan, and proper insurance coverage, which includes flood insurance.”
Floods are the number one disaster in the nation and just two inches of flood water in a 2,000 square foot home can cause $21,000 or more in damage. More than 70% of Floridians do not have flood insurance. Some flood policies, which cost less than a dollar a day, can cover $100,000 in structural damage and $40,000 for damage to items inside a home. According to AAA, homes situated in low-risk zones make up almost 20% of flood claims every year.
“Nearly half of residents in Florida do not know there is normally a 30-day waiting period for a new flood policy to take effect,” said AAA’s Florida Public Affairs Director, Matt Nasworthy. “If you wait until a named storm is moving in your direction, you will be too late. Now is the time to check with your insurance agent to ensure you are covered before the busy storm season begins.”
To prepare for potential hurricanes, AAA recommends you:
- Secure Your Home – Look for any existing damage to the roof, windows, downspouts, etc. Trim trees or bushes that could threaten your home in the event of high winds.
- Make a Plan – Create a Family Emergency Plan including ways to contact each other, alternative meeting locations and an out-of-town contact person. Make sure to identify the safest area in your home, research your closest evacuation route and include your pets in your plan.
- Take Inventory – Take an updated home inventory by walking through your home with a video camera or smartphone. Record all large purchases including its cost, when the item was purchased and its model and serial numbers if applicable.
- Stock Emergency Supplies – Plan to have at least a week’s worth of non-perishable food and water. Make sure to have flashlights, extra batteries, a battery-powered radio, medications, a first aid kit, blankets, toiletries, diapers, etc. To prepare for possible evacuations, prepare a portable kit that can be kept in the car.
- Protect Your Property – Go over your homeowner’s insurance with your insurance agent to determine if you have adequate protection and make sure to discuss your deductibles. Flood insurance is typically separate from your Homeowners policy. Physical Damage coverage takes care of flooding to automobiles.
The complete survey and information on how it was conducted can be found here.