The fifth named storm of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season – Tropical Storm Erika – has Florida and other areas in the southeastern United States in its sights. While predicting a hurricane’s precise track and severity four or five days in advance of landfall is difficult, the hurricane models predict that Erika will make landfall as a tropical storm or category 1 hurricane in southeast Florida with the risk of heaving rain and flooding potentially impacting central and northeastern Florida as well as other parts of the southeast. Therefore, it is time for property owners to be vigilant and begin preparing for the potential effects of Erika.
The primary hazards from a tropical storm or category 1 hurricane are storm surge flooding along the coast, inland flooding from heaving rain, destructive winds, tornadoes and high surf and rip currents. While the effects of hurricanes can be devastating, there are a few things you can do in an attempt to minimize the impact of a tropical storm or hurricane on your properties and business.
• Secure your property with hurricane shutters or screens or other sturdy materials.
• Review your disaster response and recovery plan with your local and regional staff.
• Take all necessary steps to prevent the release of dangerous chemicals that may be stored on your property; locate gas mains and electrical shut-offs and anchor fuel tanks.
• Contact your insurance agent to discuss your named wind and flood coverage.
We sincerely hope Tropical Storm Erika tracks over the high terrain of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, which may disrupt the storm enough to prevent much strengthening. However, Erika map track north of that high terrain over the Bahamas island chain, which would enable the storm to intensify to a category 1 hurricane as models are predicting or a stronger hurricane. Since predicting the severity of a storm is difficult, please be vigilant.
We have substantial expertise assessing and insuring hurricane and flood risk, so feel free to contact your CRIO Risk Advisor with any questions you may have and to learn how we may be able to improve how you insure your hurricane and flood risk.