June 1 marks the official start of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season and the forecast calls for up to 17 named storms, nine hurricanes, and four major hurricanes. The season also includes the debut of Irma to the list of named storms and the retirement of Irene. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Hurricane Research Division, hurricane and tropical storm name lists repeat every six years, and names that cause significant damage and/or deaths are retired. Such was the case with Irene, which packed a powerful punch in August 2011, caused more than 41 deaths, and ranked as the seventh costliest hurricane in United States history.
What can we expect from the 2017 Hurricane Season? Here are a few opinions, facts, and resources to keep in mind as communities across the country hope for the best and plan for the worst.
Take a moment to review the following tips to keep homes, businesses and loved ones safe.
- Be aware of flood control systems and structures in your community. Don’t be embarrassed to call City Hall or the appropriate municipal department to ask about the maintenance and operational status of floodgates, flood barriers, levees, dams, dikes, and seawalls.
- Check the drainage around your property. Ensure that water has a path to flow away from structures and into a swale or street drain.
- Keep storm drains clear of trash and landscaping debris. When drainage systems are compromised, water has nowhere to go but up, resulting in street, lawn and possible building flooding. Even low-risk buildings that were built responsibly to protect against flooding become high risk when drainage systems are clogged or blocked.
- Be sure that proposed enclosures or other alterations meet with local floodplain regulations. Before enclosing nonliving areas of a building or home, a property owner should meet with local building officials to ensure that the proposed enclosure will be safe from flooding. Patios, garages, balconies, and other nonliving areas are not designed to protect against flooding as much as planned living areas.
- If you own or operate a business, an asset management system will help you weather the aftermath of a storm and ensure that you have detailed and accurate information when filing a claim. Read the previous AFSI blog post: Storm Season Readiness: Asset Management.
Are you prepared for the 2017 Hurricane Season? Take a proactive step to protect your home or business. Submit your property for a complimentary flood risk evaluation today.