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Hurricane season in Florida and other coastal regions occurs every summer and fall, beginning on June 1 and lasting until November 30, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). For homeowners living in sub-tropical regions such as Florida, a hurricane can have devastating consequences, destroying property and creating dangerous conditions. Most recently, Hurricane Ian, a category 5 storm that hit Florida on September 28, 2022, caused $109 billion in damages in the state and caused 84 deaths.
Hurricane season 2023
- Hurricane Idalia made landfall in the Big Bend region of Florida as an intense Category 3 hurricane. The city of Perry, Florida, was hit the hardest as Idalia pushed through Florida and Georgia, but Idalia was downgraded to a strong tropical storm as it blew through the Carolinas.
- There were three Idalia-related deaths reported, a much lower number than anticipated since the storm made landfall in a rural part of Florida, and many residents took precautionary measures. Estimates put damage from Hurricane Idalia around $20 billion.
- Homeowners insurance typically covers some forms of hurricane damage but does not cover flood damage. Homes in high-risk areas may need windstorm insurance and flood insurance to avoid potential gaps in coverage. When a hurricane approaches, most insurance companies put a moratorium on increasing coverage or lowering deductibles until the storm passes.
When is hurricane season in Florida in 2023?
Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. If you are wondering when peak hurricane season in Florida is, most activity is seen August through October, where 96 percent of the major hurricane days occur from August to October, according to NOAA. However, mid-September is generally more active in regards to tropical storms. Although damage caused by hurricanes can reach far inland in the U.S., states bordering a coast face higher risks. High-risk areas include the coastal regions of Florida, Texas, Mississippi and North Carolina according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
2023 Hurricane season predictions
Currently, NOAA is predicting a typical hurricane season, with a 30 percent chance in either direction that it’ll be an above- or below-normal season. But what does “typical” look like? Here are some of NOAA’s predictions:
- There are likely to be 12-17 named storms, which are those with winds 39 mph or higher.
- Five to nine of the named storms could become hurricanes, with winds of 74 mph or higher.
- One to four of those hurricanes are likely to reach category 3, 4 or 5, which means winds of 111 mph or higher.
NOAA scientists predict a high potential for warmer El Nino weather patterns this summer, which may suppress hurricane activity in the Atlantic. However, there’s a possibility for El Nino to be offset by “favorable conditions local to the tropical Atlantic Basin.”
Hurricane risks to be aware of
Hurricanes carry with them a variety of potential threats, and knowing how to handle each of them is a big part of being prepared for the season. Here are some of the risks you should be aware of if you live in coastal Florida:
|Hurricane storm risk||What to know|
|High winds||To be considered a hurricane, a storm must have sustained wind of 74 mph or greater. At that speed, winds can seriously damage your roof, cause your home to shift and leave cracks in the foundation and significantly damage infrastructure such as power lines. The inside of your home may also sustain damage as high winds may damage windows and doors, allowing rain and flying debris to enter your home. Since Florida is relatively flat, winds may remain strong even to the state’s inland.|
|Flooding||The amount of flooding you’re likely to experience in a hurricane is relative to how fast the storm moves. A slow-moving storm can dump many inches of rain in one location. As is true of high winds, even locations hundreds of miles away from the center of the storm may experience flooding. However, remember that standard homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage, and a supplemental flood policy may be a good idea if you live in a region with frequent hurricanes. You may be required to purchase flood insurance if you live in a high-risk flood zone.|
|Storm surge||Storm surge can be caused by hurricanes, resulting in an abnormal rise of seawater that gets pushed towards the shore. Combined with the effects of the high winds and tidal action, this wall of water can be as high as 25 feet above the normal sea level. The majority of deaths in hurricanes are caused by individuals who cannot escape from surges or flooding. If you live in an area that sees frequent hurricanes, it’s important to know if you live in an evacuation zone, where you might be ordered to leave your home in the event of a storm to protect yourself and your family.|
Getting the right home insurance for hurricane season in Florida
It’s important to take time to search for coverage, especially with Florida’s home insurance market crisis. Considering Florida’s status as the number one hurricane-prone state, Florida residents would do well with having a robust homeowners insurance policy to be financially prepared. Depending on your location in the state, you may need multiple types of policies such as flood insurance, which must be purchased separately from your homeowners insurance.
Standard home policies generally cover wind damage. However, Florida residents may need to pay a separate deductible for this coverage. The deductible may be a specific amount, or a percentage of your dwelling coverage. So, for example, if you have $250,000 in dwelling insurance and your wind deductible was 2 percent, you would pay up to $5,000 out of pocket for windstorm damage to your home.
Common types of hurricane damage
There are different kinds of hurricane damage that can affect your home, which can result in the need for extensive repairs. When a hurricane makes landfall, the average sustained wind speeds will typically range from 74 to 150 mph. With stronger storms, winds may exceed 200 mph. Wind damage is likely if your home is in the path of a hurricane. Structural damage, like damage to your roof or siding, is also common.
Flood damage is a significant risk with hurricanes. Storm surges and heavy rains may cause extensive damage to both the interior and exterior of your home. In severe cases, flooding may even lead to a total loss.
Depending on the category of the storm, hurricanes can cause upwards of $2 billion in damage and are one of the most common natural disasters.
How to prepare your home for a hurricane
In addition to knowing when hurricane season occurs, you’ll want to make sure you take steps to prepare your home for potential hurricanes ahead of time. There are several ways you can help protect your property, such as by raising your furniture to avoid flood damage, ensuring your roof is in good condition and researching your area’s risk analysis to help you prepare against likely causes of damage.
Ahead of a storm, prepare a storm kit of food, water and other essentials to hold you over if you need to evacuate. FEMA recommends a minimum three-day supply of food and water, but you should gauge your need for more based on the size of your family, pets and location.
Frequently asked questions
Your deductible is the amount you pay after an approved claim before your policy kicks in. Generally, a homeowners insurance policy has a single deductible that would apply no matter what the claim is for. But in hurricane-prone areas, you may have a separate deductible that would apply for that damage. It is generally higher than a basic deductible and may be a percentage — usually between 1 and 5 percent, but possibly higher — of your dwelling coverage amount.
All areas of Florida are subject to damage from hurricanes, though homeowners on the coast may see more damage from storm surges than those inland. According to Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company, the most hurricane-prone area of the state is Northwest Florida, which is on the panhandle. Other regions of the state where hurricanes may be more likely to hit include the Gulf of Mexico, Southeast Florida and the southwestern part of the state.
The 2023 Florida hurricane season officially runs from June 1 through November 30. Historically, the peak time for hurricanes to strike the Florida coast is during the month of August, but the coastal areas of this state are at risk throughout the entirety of the season.
If you want to stay up to date on the forecast for hurricanes, you can check NOAA’s website, which provides live updates on when storms are projected to occur, active storms and warnings. The site also includes hurricane preparation resources and educational content around the different parts of a storm.
Hurricanes can cause extensive damage to your home. If your home is in a coastal area, the damage risk is even greater as wind speeds can go up to 150 mph, with stronger storm winds exceeding 200 mph. Hurricanes can cause structural damage to your home, like your roof or the sides of your property. Your home may also be prone to severe flooding from the heavy rains, which can cause exterior and interior damage to your home.