As a subtropical state, Florida is warm all year round, making it a great place for tourists looking to escape the cooler climate. But while this state’s tropical climate and coastal regions are a major draw for vacationers and residents alike, it also exposes the state to high hurricane risk. While residents of inland Florida are not as likely to face destruction from hurricanes and tropical storms, Florida’s coastal regions are at high risk of hurricane damage each season.
But the state of Florida not only faces high hurricane risk; It is the highest risk of any state in the nation. Since 1851, 303 hurricanes have made landfall in the US, and 120 of those storms have hit Florida. While not every hurricane that hits the coast results in widespread damage, the risk these storms pose to Florida homeowners’ real estate is real. Therefore, residents of Florida’s high-risk coastal areas should be prepared for hurricane season. If you’ve been wondering when the 2022 Florida hurricane season is or how to prepare for it, here’s what you need to know.
When is hurricane season in Florida in 2022?
Florida’s official hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30, just like the rest of the nation. The peak months of hurricane season typically last from August through October, with most storm activity historically occurring during these months.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 96% of major hurricane days occur from August through October. However, mid-September is generally more active in terms of tropical storms.
Common types of hurricane damage
Hurricanes can cause certain types of damage to your home, which can result in extensive repairs.
For example, when a hurricane makes landfall, average sustained wind speeds are typically between 100 and 150 miles per hour. Wind speeds of over 200 mph can be reached during stronger storms. That means wind damage is likely if your home is in the hurricane’s path. Structural damage, such as damage to your roof or side panels, is also common.
Hurricanes can also cause severe flooding from storm surges or heavy rains even before they make landfall. This, in turn, can lead to significant damage to the interior and exterior of your home, or even the total loss of your home.
Because of the widespread flooding that hurricanes can cause, these types of flooding events have an average cost of about $4.7 billion per event, according to NOAA. Severe storms, such as hurricanes, cost an average of $2.3 billion per event and are the most common type of disaster.
How to prepare your home for a hurricane
If you’re a Florida homeowner, you might be wondering how much it takes to prepare your home for a hurricane. To protect your home or business from damage that hurricanes can cause, it’s important to take some precautions.
For example, you may choose to replace old or worn-out roofing material with something stronger. Or you may choose to repair or replace windows that tend to crack in extreme weather. You might also consider attaching your roof to the structure of your home, especially if you live in an area prone to strong winds.
Here are some helpful tips on 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, Caribbean, and Atlantic. You need to know what time of year it is to understand when you are most at risk of a hurricane.
Know the five hurricane risk factors
According to NOAA, there are five hurricane risk factors: storm surge, inland flooding, tornadoes, currents, and high winds. Knowing what 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 affect your risk during a hurricane. NOAA publishes a hurricane risk analysis for each county that can help you determine what might be the greatest threat to your area.
Know your insurance policy
Your home insurance is one of the most important pieces of protection you have during a hurricane. It can help you protect yourself financially if your home is damaged or destroyed during an insured event. However, flood insurance is usually purchased as a separate policy, so ahead of hurricane season you should make sure you have this coverage, as well as the correct type and level of other coverages.
Check your roof
A hurricane can damage a roof and make the structure much more vulnerable. A damaged roof can cause your home to suffer water damage, even if it’s not a direct hit. A sagging or missing clapboard or rafters, a clogged gutter, or even a loose chimney will make your home much more vulnerable to damage, so take the time to check your roof ahead of hurricane season and then make the necessary repairs.
Prepare your home for flooding
Although you can’t prevent a hurricane, you can prepare for 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 belongings to protect them from flooding.
It can also help to secure any loose items on the outside of the home and remove any plants or trees that are within 20 feet of your home. These can pose a threat to your home in the event of flooding or strong winds from the storms. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also recommends checking with your water utility to make sure 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 you’ll need on your way to safety if you need to evacuate during a hurricane. FEMA recommends that you have at least three days’ worth of food and water, but you may need more if you have children or pets, or if your home is in a rural area.
You should also keep your important documents such as birth certificates, passports, bank statements and insurance information in an easy-to-access waterproof container in case you need to evacuate your home.