Now is the time for communities along the coastline as well as inland to get prepared for the dangers that hurricanes can bring.
While experts are not predicting the same amount of storm activity as 2020, they predict that the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season has “a 60% chance of an above-normal season, a 30% chance of a near-normal season, and a 10% chance of a below-normal season," according to the 2021 hurricane outlook released by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center late last week.
“Now is the time for communities along the coastline as well as inland to get prepared for the dangers that hurricanes can bring," said Gina Raimondo, U.S. secretary of commerce. “The experts at NOAA are poised to deliver life-saving early warnings and forecasts to communities, which will also help minimize the economic impacts of storms."
With the Atlantic hurricane season commencing on June 1, understanding what could potentially be coming down the pipeline is essential for preparedness.
“For 2021, a likely range of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 6 to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 5 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher) is expected," the 2021 hurricane outlook said.
"Now is the time to get ready and advance disaster resilience in our communities," said Deanne Criswell, FEMA administrator. “Purchase flood insurance to protect your greatest asset, your home. And please encourage your neighbors, friends and coworkers to also get ready for the upcoming season."
“Although NOAA scientists don't expect this season to be as busy as last year, it only takes one storm to devastate a community," said Ben Friedman, acting NOAA administrator. “The forecasters at the National Hurricane Center are well-prepared with significant upgrades to our computer models, emerging observation techniques, and the expertise to deliver the life-saving forecasts that we all depend on during this, and every, hurricane season."
Hurricanes can cause major property damage through storm surge, wind damage, rip currents and flooding. The best line of defense is preparedness. Insurance agents play a central role in ensuring clients are aware of the risks they face as well as, during and after a disaster, communicating the most pertinent information such as claim hotline numbers for all carriers and emergency contact information for staff is available either via an agency-customer portal, social media, email, agency management system and website.
Agents can access additional information through the Big “I" Agents Council for Technology (ACT) disaster planning resources.
Olivia Overman is IA content editor.