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As a subtropical state, Florida is warm year-round, which makes it a great place for tourists who are looking to escape cooler climates. But while the tropical climate and coastal regions of this state are a big draw for vacationers and residents alike, it also puts the state at high risk of hurricanes. While inland Florida residents aren’t as likely to face the destruction caused by hurricanes and tropical storms, the coastal regions of Florida are at high risk of hurricane damage each season.
But the state of Florida isn’t just at high risk of hurricane activity; it’s at the highest risk of any state in the nation. There have been 303 hurricanes that have made landfall in the U.S. since 1851, and 120 of those storms hit Florida. While not every hurricane that hits the coastline results in widespread damages, the risk that these storms pose to the properties of Florida homeowners is real. As such, residents of Florida’s high-risk coastal areas may want to be prepared for hurricane season. If you’ve been wondering about when hurricane season is in Florida in 2022, or how you can prepare for it, here’s what you need to know.
When is hurricane season in Florida in 2022?
The official Florida hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, just as it is in the rest of the nation. The peak months for hurricane season typically run from August through October, with most storm activity historically occurring during these months.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 96% of the major hurricane days occur from August to October. However, mid-September is generally more active in regard to tropical storms.
Common types of hurricane damage
Hurricanes can cause certain types of damages to your home, which can result in needing to make extensive repairs.
For example, when a hurricane makes landfall, the average sustained wind speeds will typically range from 100 to 150 mph. With stronger storms, winds may exceed 200 mph. What that means is that if your home is in the path of the hurricane, wind damage is likely. Structural damage, like damage to your roof or siding, is also common.
Hurricanes can also cause severe flooding due to storm surges or heavy rains even before they make landfall. This can, in turn, cause extensive damage to the interior and exterior of your home, or may even cause a total loss of your home.
Due to the widespread flooding that hurricanes can cause, these types of flooding events have an average price tag of about $4.7 billion per event, according to NOAA. Severe storms, like hurricanes, have an average cost of $2.3 billion per event and are the most common type of disaster to occur.
How to prepare your home for a hurricane
If you are a Florida-based homeowner, you may be wondering just how much you need to do in order to prepare your home for a hurricane. To help protect your home or business from the damage that can be caused by hurricanes, it is important to take some precautions.
For example, you may opt to replace old or worn roofing material with something stronger. Or, you may opt to repair or replace windows, which tend to break in extreme weather. You might also consider securing your roof to the structure of your house, especially if you live in an area that is prone to high winds.
Here are some helpful tips for how to prepare your home for a hurricane:
Know the hurricane season
NOAA has a hurricane season from June 1 through November 30 in the eastern Pacific Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. You need to know when the season is to understand when you are most at risk for a hurricane.
Know the five hurricane risk factors
According to NOAA, there are five hurricane risk factors: storm surge, inland flooding, tornadoes, rip currents and high winds. Knowing which factors contribute to your home’s risk is key to preparing your home for a hurricane.
Know your risk
There are dozens of factors that can influence your risk during a hurricane. NOAA publishes a hurricane risk analysis for each county, which you can use to determine what may be the greatest threat to your area.
Know your insurance policy
Your homeowners insurance policy is one of the most important protections you have during a hurricane. It can help to provide you with financial coverage if your home is damaged or destroyed during a covered event. However, flood insurance is typically purchased as a separate policy, so you should make sure that you have this coverage, and the right type and amount of other coverage, prior to hurricane season.
Check your roof
A hurricane can cause damage to a roof and make the structure much more vulnerable. A damaged roof can cause your home to sustain water damage, even if it is not a direct hit. A sagging or missing shingle or rafter, a blocked gutter or even a loose chimney makes your home much more susceptible to damage, so take time to check your roof prior to hurricane season and then make necessary repairs.
Prepare your home for flooding
Although you cannot prevent a hurricane, you can prepare for the flooding that may occur during or after the storm. If you live in a high-risk area for a hurricane, you may consider raising your furniture and other personal possessions so they are safer from flooding.
It can also be helpful to secure any loose items on the exterior of the home and remove any plants or trees that sit within 20 feet of your home. These can become hazards to your home during flooding or high winds from the storms. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also suggests checking with your water utility department to ensure you have access to clean water and that your filtration system is working.
Build a storm kit
A storm kit is a basic supply of food, water and other necessary items that you need during your journey to safety if you have to evacuate during a hurricane. FEMA recommends that you have at least a three-day supply of food and water, but you may need more if you have children or pets or if your home is located in a rural area.
You should also store your important documents, such as birth certificates, passports, bank statements and insurance information, in an easily accessible waterproof container in case you need to evacuate your home.