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It’s Hurricane Season, and here’s the drill:
Newspapers print their hurricane guides.
TV stations develop specials on preparedness.
County emergency managers host hurricane expos.
The director of the National Hurricane Center says Floridians are not well prepared.
Blah, blah, blah. Every year, it’s the same thing, and most people react by doing…nothing. Until the last minute, of course, when a storm is barreling down too close to home, and there’s that crazy, mad rush to the grocery store.
A hurricane by another name is typhoon. And, a massive one hit the Philippines on Nov. 8. Buildings in much of that area are not constructed to withstand high winds. While some Florida homes can take a hit from a strong hurricane, many cannot. It depends on the strength of the storm, where the home is located, how it was constructed and if the homeowner invested in a stronger structure or opted instead for a prettier interior.
Every hurricane season is different, yet history shows some noteworthy trends. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel did an analysis of storms over the past 100 years and determined that Florida was hit most frequently (21 times) by Category 1 systems. But don’t ever dismiss a “weak hurricane” as a weakling.
We’re three weeks away from the start of hurricane season, and Florida’s emergency responders are ready. Are you? The Governor’s Hurricane Conference commenced this week, and its theme was “Moving Forward in Changing Times.” The messages, however, were clearly about the challenges faced in these changing times.
Here in Florida, the aftermath of Storm Sandy may be primarily a memory for most people. Too bad it can’t be a lesson.
I was in New York and New Jersey last week, helping the Insurance Information Institute with educational outreach to consumers and media regarding the insurance process after a disaster. For me, it’s déjà vu all over again – because no matter the type of natural disaster or its target, the same questions and drama play out time and again. People tend to overlook or underestimate their risk, and this is a costly error.