First off, what is a storm surge? According to the National Weather Service, “a storm surge is an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm, over and above the predicted astronomical tide.”
Did you know a storm surge is one of the most deadly parts of a hurricane? In 1970, nearly 500,000 people were killed in the Bay of Bengal following the worst storm surge in history. In the U.S., Hurricane Katrina generated one of the worst storm surges with water levels of higher than 25 feet throughout impacted communities – 41.5 feet in Waveland, Mississippi.
CoreLogic, a leader in property data analysis, estimates that more than 6 million residential properties are at risk of a storm surge caused by hurricanes in 2015 on both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, which could account for $1.5 trillion in Reconstruction Cost Value.
Nearly 20 states are at risk. More than three quarters of the 6.6 million homes at risk of storm surge are located in only six states:
1. Florida (2.5 million at-risk homes)
2. Louisiana (760k at-risk homes)
3. New York (464k at-risk homes)
4. New Jersey (446k at-risk homes)
5. Texas (441k at-risk homes)
6. Virginia (420k at-risk homes)
Since Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana 15 years ago, the most destructive Category 5 hurricane in the United States, only one-fourth of Louisiana’s at-risk homes are considered in the very high storm surge category due to the upgrade of levees since Katrina hit.
Cities that rank highest in the number of homes at risk, as well as total Reconstruction Cost Value, include:
1. New York – Newark, NY-NJ-PA
2. Miami – Fort Lauderdale – West Palm Beach, FL
3. Tampa – St. Petersburg – Clearwater, FL
4. Virginia Beach – Norfolk – Newport News, VA-NC
5. New Orleans – Metairie, LA
Although these are grave statistics, many industry professionals predict a quiet 2015 storm season. However, it’s always best to be ready and keep your loved ones safe in the event of a hurricane.
– Find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone and get to know your zone.
– During a storm, do not use generators indoors, do not go down to your basement where floods occur first, do not drive through high levels of water, and leave your home once an evacuation is issued.
– Before a storm, assemble an Emergency Preparedness Kit:
• Use a clear portable container
• 3-day supply of water and non-perishable food
• Can opener and utility knife
• Battery-powered weather radio
• Cellphone charger
• Extra batteries
• Copies of insurance policies, identification and bank records
• Prescriptions, medical supplies
• First-Aid Kit
We hope these suggested tips will help keep you safe during hurricane season. Please remember that if you experience any property damage caused by fire, water, mold or storms to Call Paul. We’re here 24/7 to help you!