Commissioner Donelon Advises Residents to Prepare for Peak of
Atlantic Hurricane Season Activity
Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon is reminding residents to remain prepared and informed as the peak of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season approaches.
“While Tropical Storm Ernesto is not posing an immediate threat to the Gulf Coast, it’s a good time to advise residents on the steps they can be taking to be adequately prepared,” said Commissioner Donelon. “Thus far residents of Louisiana have enjoyed a relatively quiet hurricane season. However, we all know the destruction and devastation one single storm can impose.”
On Friday, forecasters for the Tropical Meteorology Project at Colorado State University released an updated forecast of their 2012 U.S. Landfalling Hurricane Probability Project. Their revised forecast predicts a slightly more active season than what was reported two months ago, while still expecting below-average numbers for the rest of the season. The report calls for a total of 14 named storms and six hurricanes, two of which are predicted to be major hurricanes. The forecast includes the four named storms and one hurricane that were already observed through July.
Previously, Colorado State University researchers predicted a below-normal hurricane season with 13 named storms, five of which were expected to become hurricanes, with two of those being Category 3 or greater. Forecasters say the increase in activity is due to a slower-than-anticipated onset of El Nino and a more favorable tropical Atlantic than what was observed earlier this year.
Commissioner Donelon advises Louisiana residents to keep the following points in mind during the remainder of the ongoing hurricane season:
- Plan for a potential evacuation. Plan an evacuation route; ask someone out of state to be your “family contact” in an emergency, and ensure everyone knows the contact’s address and phone number.
- Build an emergency supply kit. Food, bottled water, first aid supplies, medicines, important documents, and a battery-operated radio should be ready to go when you evacuate or stay in place through a storm. Visit www.ready.gov for a disaster supply checklist.
- Move important objects and papers to a safe place. Store your valuables where they will not get damaged in a flood or take them with you when evacuating.
- Know your coverages. Check with your producer to find out if there is a hurricane deductible written into your policy. For example, a two percent hurricane deductible would require you to pay up to two percent of the insured value of your home instead of the usual deductible you pay when you have other types of losses. Also be aware that companies stop writing property policies when storms approach the Gulf of Mexico.
- If you don’t already have one, consider purchasing a flood insurance policy. Most homeowners insurance does not cover floods and there may be a 30-day wait before a flood policy becomes effective. If you already have a flood policy, remember that your policy needs to be renewed each year.
- Conduct a thorough home inventory. Thorough documentation of your belongings will help in the event you must file an insurance claim. For more information, visit http://www.knowyourstuff.org. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is also urging homeowners to inventory the contents of their home to use in the event of property losses due to flooding or other disasters. One easy way to do this is by downloading the NAIC’s free iPhone or Android application called myHOMEscr.APP.book.