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Hurricane Preparedness

Philip J. Klotzbach said, climatologically, there is a 97 percent probability that the U.S. will be hit by a named storm, either a tropical storm or hurricane.

There is a 51 percent probability that a hurricane will make landfall in Florida — the highest probability nationwide. Texas was second with a 33 percent probability, followed by Louisiana at 30 percent.

The probability of a major hurricane — Category 3 or higher — hitting the Sunshine State is 21 percent.

South Carolina
North Carolina
New Jersey
New York
Rhode Island
New Hampshire
Whole US

32% (33%)
29% (30%)
10% (11%)
15% (16%)
49% (51%)
11% (11%)
16% (17%)
27% (28%)
6% (6%)
1% (1%)
1% (1%)
1% (1%)
7% (8%)
7% (7%)
5% (6%)
7% (7%)
1% (1%)
4% (4%)
83% (84%)

Major Hurricane
11% (12%)
11% (12%)
4% (4%)
2% (3%)
20% (21%)
1% (1%)
4% (4%)
7% (8%)
1% (1%)
<1% (<1%)
<1% (<1%)
<1% (<1%)
3% (3%)
2% (2%)
2% (3%)
2% (2%)
<1% (<1%)
<1% (<1%)
50% (52%)

Chance to get hit by named storm

Chance to get landfall from a hurricane

Chance to get by a Catagory 3 or higher

Statistical Forecast

Forecast Parameter and 1981-2010 Median (in parentheses)
Named Storms (12.0)
Named Storm Days (60.1)
Hurricanes (6.5)
Hurricane Days (21.3)
Major Hurricanes (2.0)
Major Hurricane Days (3.9)
Accumulated Cyclone Energy Index (92)
Net Tropical Cyclone Activity (103%)

2016 Hurricane Name List
  • Alex
  • Bonnie
  • Colin
  • Danielle
  • Earl
  • Fiona
  • Gaston
  • Hermine
  • Ian
  • Julia
  • Karl
  • Lisa
  • Matthew
  • Nicole
  • Otto
  • Paula
  • Richard
  • Shary
  • Tobias
  • Virginie
  • Walter

Hurricane Safety

Hurricanes are among nature's most powerful and destructive phenomena. On average, 12 tropical storms, 6 of which become hurricanes form over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, or Gulf of Mexico during the hurricane season which runs from June 1 to November 30 each year. In the Central Pacific Ocean, an average of 3 tropical storms, 2 of which become hurricanes form or move over the area during the hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30 each year. Over a typical 2-year period, the U.S. coastline is struck by an average of 3 hurricanes, 1 of which is classified as a major hurricane (winds of 111 mph or greater). By knowing what actions to take before, during, and after a hurricane, you can increase your chance of survival.This website provides information on how to learn about your specific hurricane vulnerabilities. By knowing what actions to take before the hurricane season begins, when a hurricane approaches, what action to take when the storm is in your area, and what to do after a hurricane leaves your area you can increase your chance of survival. If you, or someone you know, have been a victim of a hurricane, please share your story so we can prevent others from becoming a victim. When you

Hurricane Hazards

While hurricanes pose the greatest threat to life and property, tropical storms and depression also can be devastating. The primary hazards from tropical cyclones are storm surge flooding, inland flooding from heavy rains, destructive winds, tornadoes, and high surf and rip currents.

Storm surge is the abnormal rise of water generated by a storm's winds. This hazard is historically the leading cause of hurricane related deaths in the United States. Storm surge and large battering waves can result in large loss of life and cause massive destruction along the coast. Storm surge can travel several miles inland, especially along bays, rivers, and estuaries.
Flooding from heavy rains is the second leading cause of fatalities during landfalling tropical cyclones. Widespread torrential rains from tropical storms and hurricanes often cause flooding hundreds of miles inland. This flooding can persist for several days after a storm.
Winds from a hurricane can destroy buildings and mobile homes. Debris, such as signs, roofing material, and items left outside can become flying missiles during hurricanes.
Tornadoes are often produced by landfalling tropical storms and hurricanes. These tornadoes typically occur in rain bands well away from the center of the hurricane.
Dangerous waves produced by a hurricane's strong winds can pose a significant hazard to coastal residents and mariners. These waves can cause deadly rip currents, significant beach erosion, and damage to structures along the coastline, even when the storm is more than a 1,000 miles offshore.

Watch and Warnings

Whenever a tropical depression, tropical storm, or hurricane has formed, the NOAA National Hurricane Center (NHC) issues tropical cyclone advisory products every 6 hours at 5 am, 11 am, 5 pm, and 11 pm EDT. When coastal tropical storm or hurricane watches or warnings are in effect, the NHC issues Tropical Cyclone Public advisories every 3 hours. You can find these products on, on TV, radio, cell phones and other computers; and NOAA Weather Radio. Information on major NHC products is detailed below. For more details on all NHC products, see the National Hurricane Center Product User's Guide.

What to Do Before the Tropical Storm or Hurricane

The best time to prepare for a hurricane is before hurricane season begins on June 1. It is vital to understand your home's vulnerability to storm surge, flooding, and wind. Here is your checklist of things do do BEFORE hurricane seasons begins.

Know your zone: Do you live near the Gulf or Atlantic Coasts? Find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation area by contacting your local government/emergency management office or by checking the evacuation site website.

Write or review your Family Emergency Plan: Before an emergency happens, sit down with your family or close friends and decide how you will get in contact with each other, where you will go and what you will do in an emergency. Keep a copy of this plan in your emergency supplies kit or another safe place where you can access it in the event of a disaster. Start at the Ready.Gov emergency plan webpage.

Put Together an Emergency Supplies Kit: Put together a basic disaster supplies kit and consider storage locations for different situations. Check emergency equipment, such as flashlights, generators and storm shutters.

Review Your Home Owners Insurance: Review your insurance policy to ensure that you have adequate coverage for your home.

Free Sandbag Locations

Clermont Residents
Clermont will begin giving out sandbags at 9 a.m. at the Clermont's Public Works Department at 400 12th Street.
DeLand Residents
DeLand has setup a staging area for residents to fill sandbags.

The city is providing sand and bags in the parking lot on Hubbard Avenue, south of the Conrad Park Baseball stadium. Residents should bring shovels and may fill and take up to 10 bags. The staging area will be open until 5 p.m. Monday.

For more information, please contact the Public Works Office at 386-626-7195.
Deltona Resident
The Deltona has sandbags available at Festival Park, 191 Howland Blvd. City staff will provide 10 filled bags per resident; another 10 empty bags will be available for residents to fill. Residents who want to fill their own should bring a shovel.
Prevent flooding in your home and
get your sandbags
Kissimmee Residents
Residents of the city of Kissimmee will be limited to three sand bags and must provide proof of residency within city limits. Residents will need to prepare their own bags; however, the city will have shovels available. Assistance will be available in the preparation and loading of bags for the elderly and disabled who request assistance at the site. The location is at the corner of Mabbette Street and Alaska Avenue, across from the YMCA.
New Smyrna Beach Residents
City residents may pick up sandbags from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday at the New Smyrna Beach Maintenance Operation Department, 124 Industrial Park Ave. Sand and bags will be provided, however, residents must bring shovels and fill their own bags.

There is a limit of 20 sandbags per household. Sandbags are free for New Smyrna Beach residents. Valid identification is required.

For more information on sandbags, citizens may call 386-424-2209 Monday during business hours.

Sandbags being filled in Kissimmee [PHOTO: WKMG/TEE TAYLOR]
In preparation for Tropical Storm Colin, the Ocala has opened sandbag stations at Tuscawilla Park, located at the corner of 8th Avenue and 14th Street, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation Complex. Sand bags will be provided to city residents at no charge. The limit is five per resident.

Sandbag stations will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, June 6. At this time, they are not scheduled to be open Tuesday, June 7. We will continue to provide updates if anything changes.
Orange City Residents
Orange City residents may pick up sandbags from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Waggin' Trail Dog Park, 1201 S. Leavitt Ave. Sand, bags and shovels will be provided. Residents must fill their own bags. There is a limit of 10 sandbags per household. For information, call the Public Works Department at 386-775-5447.
Ormond Beach Residents
The city's Public Works Department is open for city residents to pick up sandbags until 6 p.m. Each household may receive 10 sand bags.

Residents must provide identification. Sandbags can be picked up at the Public Works Department, 501 N. Orchard St., Ormond Beach.
Orlando Public Works is distributing sand bags to city residents today, as a flood watch is in effect.

Public Works facility, 1010 S. Woods Road, Orlando

Actions to Take When a Tropical Storm or Hurricane Threatens

When a hurricane threatens your community, be prepared to evacuate if you live in a storm surge risk area. Allow enough time to pack and inform friends and family if you need to leave your home.

Secure your home: Cover all of your home's windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8 inch exterior grade or marine plywood, built to fit and ready to install. Buy supplies before the hurricane season rather than waiting for the prestorm rush.

Stayed tuned in: Check the websites of your local National Weather Service office and local government/emergency management office. Find out what type of emergencies could occur and how you should respond. Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or other radio or TV stations for the latest storm news.
Follow instructions issued by local officials. Leave immediately if ordered!

If NOT ordered to evacuate:
Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level during the storm. Put as many walls between you and the outside as you can.
Stay away from windows, skylights and glass doors.
If the eye of the storm passes over your area, there will be a short period of calm, but at the other side of the eye, the wind speed rapidly increases to hurricane force winds coming from the opposite direction.

How do I know what I have covered?

Generally, covered properties are divided into four separate categories. The definitions of the property, and the extent of coverage vary by state, company and product. So it is important for the consumer to understand the definitions of the covered property. The four separate categories for your home, as defined by insurance companies, are:

1. Dwelling – The structure of the house is considered a covered property.

2. Other Structures – These are structures that are separate from the house, or connected to the house by a fence, wire or other form of connection, but not otherwise attached to the dwelling, such as a tool shed or detached garage.

3. Personal Property – The contents of your home are your personal property. This includes furniture, appliances and clothing. Not all personal property is covered. Items more appropriately covered under different forms of insurance may have limited or no coverage for loss. These items include, but are not limited to, money, jewelry and firearms.

4. Loss of Use – When a loss occurs due to a covered peril and the dwelling becomes uninhabitable, the cost of additional living expenses is covered. Reimbursement of additional living expenses covers the cost to the insured for maintaining a normal standard of living.

How much is my deductable?

Hurricane deductibles and their triggers are set by law and are the same for the private, or regular market, as well as Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (CPIC), the state-run program which provides property insurance to consumers. The hurricane deductible applies only once during a hurricane season. All insurers must offer a hurricane deductible of $500, 2 percent, 5 percent and 10 percent of the policy dwelling or structure limits. The percentages are based on the total value of the home (e.g., a 10 percent hurricane deductible on a $200,000 home would be $20,000). In some cases a deductible of more than 10 percent is permissible. For example, for homes that are insured for less than $500,000, the deductible can be higher than 10 percent if the homeowner states the dollar value of the deductible in a letter to the insurer. The deductible must be stated in the policy as a dollar amount regardless of the percentage.

Does My Policy Cover Hurricanes?

Most property insurance policies provide coverage for losses resulting from hurricanes, except for flood loss associated with the hurricane. However, some policies only provide limited coverage for hurricanes, or require that a higher deductible be purchased specifically for the hurricane peril. Most states with risk of loss from hurricanes have government mandated insurance plans that provide hurricane coverage to property owners who are unable to obtain insurance through the voluntary market.

Insurance Coverage Press Release

Insurance policy changes could leave homeowners under water
Maitland, FL
May 26, 2016

Insurance is largely accepted as one of the “necessary evils” of home ownership, along with having to fix your own toilet if it breaks and that one neighbor that always needs to borrow something. While it can be frustrating to pay for a service you may never need, the benefit to insurance is security. It is knowing that should tragedy strike, the insurance company will step forward and help you pull your life back together. Or perhaps not. Florida homeowners may be in for an unpleasant surprise. An unsettling trend is developing as insurance companies move to reduce water damage coverage, if not remove it all together.

Water damage is a very real concern in Florida, a state that is not only surrounded by water but contains more than 30,000 lakes and hundreds of miles of rivers. In addition to this already damp and humid climate, Florida is regularly beset by tropical storms and hurricanes every year. Water damage on some level is almost inevitable.

Insurance companies are already offering discounts on policies if homeowners are willing to exclude water coverage. Knowing the environment is ripe for it, these insurance companies are trying to avoid an almost guaranteed payout. Additionally, many companies are trying to set the cap for water damage coverage at $3000. Something as simple as a burst pipe could cost $3000 or more to fix. When you factor in an incident such as a tropical storm or a hurricane, the claims rise from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Additionally, being covered for flood or hurricane damage does not include coverage for water damage. For example, say your area is wracked by a tropical storm. Days of rain have saturated your roof and your walls, and then eventually the house flooded. Would you be covered, or would your insurance company claim that the water damage was done before the actual flooding? Perhaps the tropical storm evolved into a hurricane, and your saturated walls gave way to the wind. Would you be covered in this instance, or would the insurance company insist that since the water damage came first they were not liable?

The conditions and clauses only grow more absurd as policies are broken down. Many policies offer coverage for mold damage, but not water. If the water damage is the source of the mold, are you then no longer covered? Other policies offer coverage for volcanoes, but not water. Since Florida is well outside of the Ring of Fire, what is even the point of that coverage? At what point does common sense reassert itself? If you have a house fire, will they refuse to cover damage from the water used to put the fire out?

We pay for insurance to be covered in times of distress. As homeowners, we need our policies to cover the damages and pitfalls we are most likely to face. It is important to make sure your insurance policies cover your needs, and are relevant to your home and the area in which you live. And as a Floridian, coverage for water damage is incredibly relevant.

Cohen Grossman Attorneys at Law are a multi­focus law office with experts in litigation, specifically insurance claims. Their office is at 350 N. Lake Destiny in Maitland, FL and they can be found on the web at

Harvey Cohen
Cohen Grossman Attorneys At Law
350 N. Lake Destiny
Maitland, FL
+1­(877)­440-­4878 Sources:

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All four of these parameter deviations in the tropical Atlantic are known to be favorable for enhanced hurricane activity.
All of these parameter deviations over the tropical Atlantic and tropical Pacific tend to be associated with active hurricane seasons.
The predictor correlates very strongly with ENSO as well as vertical shear in the Caribbean. The correlation scale has been flipped to allow for easy comparison of correlations for all four predictors.
The correlation scale has been flipped to allow for easy comparison of correlations for all four predictors.

NHC Hurricane Infographics