Up north, with the early season cold weather, hurricane season is coming to a close. Florence and Michael were 2 more devastating weather events that thankfully did not land in the tristate area. So what do we really know? What have we learned about hurricanes?
I recently read “Inevitable Disaster” by Roy Spenser, PhD, a revealing examination of the statistics on hurricanes, from the book these points are clear:
- Statistically, hurricanes are not more frequent, global warming has not had an effect
- The severity of the wind has not increased
- The hurricane drought from 2005 to 2017 has made us complacent
But we are vulnerable because:
- Coastal development has skyrocketed
- Population along the shorelines has exploded
- The point of impact is still random
There are more than 6m people living in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale alone. A direct hit of a Cat 5 storm to Miami is estimated to be a $1 trillion damage result.
- Global warming does increase the amount of moisture in the air
- Water surge driven by the wind, and then the heavy rains that come with a hurricane are more damaging than the wind itself
- Property insurance rates are on the rise
So as a result:
- Storm preparation is the key to managing the effects
- Review of your insurance with a focus on weather is important
- Rethinking even if you are not in a flood zone whether flood insurance is now a good choice
Whether heavy rains, or hurricane force winds, advance work will keep weather damage down to an inconvenience instead of a potential disaster.