We are now in what is considered the busiest time of the Atlantic hurricane season. While the traditional hurricane season starts June 1 and ends Nov. 30, this has been a very unusual year.
We actually had two named storms before the official start of this year’s hurricane season.
Additionally, we had the earliest L named storm – Laura – form on Aug. 21. The previous record holder, Luis, formed on Aug. 29, 1995. And the short-lived Marco eclipsed the previous M record – Maria – from Sept. 2, 2005.
So, we’ve had 13 named storms, and we’re only now getting to the busy season when it comes to tropical activity. Typically, it is October before we get to this many named storms.
The bad news is that in early August, forecasters updated their predictions for storms this year, announcing that they expected as many as 25 named storms. And they are expecting those storms to be longer and stronger.
If there’s a positive note for Florida, it is that we have experienced minimal tropical activity to this point. But given that we are on a peninsula surrounded on three sides by very warm water, it is unlikely for the state to escape without some activity.
So, what does all this mean for a Florida homeowner? It’s simple, if there was ever a year you were going to prepare for hurricane season, this is it.
There are several things you can do – and some should have already been done.
We are not suggesting that you run out to the store right now and stock up on supplies. But remember, 2020 has been a very unusual year. So, keep in mind that some of the things you may need if there is a storm in our area may not be as available as they usually are.
As far as electricity, this may be the year to consider a portable generator. If a storm hits, and you lose power, that’s the quickest way to return to some semblance of normalcy. If you are considering a generator, contact a licensed electrician to help you through that process.
Next, check your roof. Of course, that has to be done by a professional. There may be some things you can have repaired in advance of a storm in order to prevent later damage.
Get a professional to examine the trees on your property. Anything that looks like it may be an issue in a storm, can be removed in advance by an expert tree company.
A few more things you can include:
- Secure porches and carports
- Make sure windows and doors are sealed
- Have a plan to clear the outside areas of your home if a storm is on the way
There are many experts in our area qualified to help with these projects. Consult our resources page for some recommendations.
One more thing of vital importance is to check your homeowner’s insurance policy. Most do not include flood insurance. And you cannot make changes once a storm is heading to our area.
Our homes are our most valuable possession. As Floridians, we love living in this climate most of the year. But hurricane season is the time we must be prepared – this year more than ever.