“Meteorologists have reported more tropical storm activity than usual.”
Hurricane Harvey recently hit South Texas and Louisiana, causing mass flooding and an unprecedented $190 billion in possible damage. Hurricane Irma, which is expected to hit Florida in the coming days, is reported to be the second strongest Atlantic hurricane in history (second only to Hurricane Allen in 1980), there’s no doubt that this year’s hurricane season is far more destructive than those of the recent past.
What is a hurricane?
Also known as tropical cyclones, hurricanes form as western winds off the coast of Africa combined with the opposing jet stream that cuts across the continental U.S. Between June and November, sea temperatures and winds are usually at the right levels for the formation of tropical depressions. Those depressions then gain strength as they move across the Atlantic and may grow into hurricanes. The storm itself must display sustained winds of at least 75 miles per hour to be officially classified as a hurricane by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
In August, researchers from NOAA and the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University reported that 2017 could see as many as 16 named storms, around half of which were expected to become hurricanes. So far, this season has racked up 11 total storms, including four hurricanes.
Hurricane season traditionally peaks on September 10. In fact, Colorado State University meteorologist Phil Klotzbach said that half of a season’s cyclone energy usually occurs in September, meaning major hurricanes are likely still to come. With the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma barreling toward Florida, and Tropical Storm Jose following closely behind, residents on the Atlantic coast should be encouraged to prepare for an intense and relentless hurricane season.
Early storm warnings
Hurricane Sandy, which infamously devastated much of the East Coast in 2012 and caused an estimated $75 billion in damage, was a Category Three storm. In comparison, Hurricane Harvey was a Category 4 storm, with winds of 130 mph and record-breaking rainfall. A Category Four hurricane is capable of producing sustained winds between 130 and 156 mph. This is enough to cause essentially complete destruction to residences without a solid foundation, like mobile and manufactured homes. More structurally sound homes and buildings will sustain significant damage, most trees and telephone poles will snap, and power outages will last for months. And, Hurricane Irma is a Category 5 hurricane, with the potential to cause even more destruction.
The impending hurricane crises warrant protection for your businesses. Having the right protection in place beforehand – not only physical barriers, but also financial safeguards, will put you at ease during this uncertain and challenging time. McGowan Risk Specialists offers business owners several insurance products and packages tailored to their specific needs.
These include coverages for flood and quake damage, general liability, and several other specific risks valued at up to several million dollars each. In addition, owners can choose umbrella coverage to add even more headroom to cover legal fees, employee liability and much more. This full range of insurance coverage is made possible through McGowan’s Power of the Pen, allowing businesses to find insurance policies that fit their exact specifications.
Businesses can’t afford to wait and see if hurricane predictions come true. Work with a trusted insurance advisor to help add some protection against these risks.