June 1st is the official start of hurricane season for states along the Atlantic coast – and it could be catastrophic. Scientists at Colorado State University issued a prediction that there will be at least 19 named storms. Of those 19 named storms, nine will be hurricanes – four of which will be Category 3 or higher.
Typically, an average hurricane season has around 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes. In 2021, hurricane season produced 21 named storms, including seven hurricanes of which four were Category 3 or higher. Last year’s season was the sixth consecutive above-normal hurricane season and was the first time in recorded history that two consecutive hurricane seasons exhausted the list of 21 storm names.
Residents along the Atlantic coast should start preparing now for not only this year’s potential catastrophic losses but for the indefinite future. According to NPR, “Hurricanes are likelier to be larger and more powerful as they form over hotter ocean water. Thanks to climate change, global sea-surface temperatures are rising.”
North Carolina residents should purchase flood insurance as their first step of preparation, as homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover flood damage. For those that live in a flood plain, near a river or by the coast, flood insurance is necessary and, in some cases, required. However, even if you don’t live in a flood plain, do not assume that you will never incur flood damage. According to the City of Durham, 25% of all flood damage occurs outside the mapped flood zones.
Those that are considering purchasing flood insurance should beware that there is a 30-day wait period after applying for coverage. With the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season a little over a month away, now is the perfect time to ensure that your house is properly protected.
North Carolina residents can purchase flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in all communities that participate in the program. In addition, there are private companies that can offer flood insurance policies or endorsements for flood coverage. The North Carolina Department of Insurance suggests that you should check with a licensed insurance agent to find out what flood insurance options are available in your area.
Insurance People of North Carolina can procure policies from the NFIP and private flood insurance providers. Please reach out to an Insurance People agent to learn more!
For more information on other methods to protect your home from flood damage, please visit the NC Department of Insurance’s Flood Insurance information page.