The National Weather Service states “a storm surge is an abnormal rise of water generated by a storm, over and above the predicted astronomical tide.”
Did you know a storm surge is one of the most deadly parts of a hurricane? In 1970, nearly half a million people were killed in the Bay of Bengal following the most lethal storm surge in history. In the United States, Hurricane Katrina generated one of the worst storm surges with water levels of more than 25 feet throughout impacted communities – 41.5 feet in Waveland, Mississippi.
CoreLogic, a leader in property data analysis, projects that more than 6 million single-family houses are at risk of a storm surge caused by hurricanes in 2015 on both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, which could equate to $1.5 trillion in Reconstruction Cost Value.
Nineteen states are at risk. More than three quarters of the 6.6 million houses at risk of storm surge are located in only six states:
1. Florida (2.5 million at-risk homes)
2. Louisiana (760k at-risk homes)
3. New York (464k at-risk homes)
4. New Jersey (446k at-risk homes)
5. Texas (441k at-risk homes)
6. Virginia (420k at-risk homes)
Since Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana 15 years ago, the most destructive Category 5 hurricane in the United States, only one-fourth of Louisiana’s at-risk homes are considered in the very high storm surge category due to the levee upgrades since Katrina hit.
Cities that rank highest in the amount of houses at risk, as well as total Reconstruction Cost Value, include:
1. New York – Newark, NY-NJ-PA
2. Miami – Fort Lauderdale – West Palm Beach, FL
3. Tampa – St. Petersburg – Clearwater, FL
4. Virginia Beach – Norfolk – Newport News, VA-NC
5. New Orleans – Metairie, LA
Although these are grave statistics, many experts predict a quiet 2015 storm season. However, it’s always best to be prepared and keep your loved ones safe in the event of a hurricane.
– Learn if you are located in a hurricane evacuation zone and learn your zone.
– During a storm, do not use generators indoors, do not go down to your basement where water rises first, do not drive through high levels of water, and leave your home once an evacuation is issued.
– Before a storm, create an Emergency Preparedness Kit:
• Use a clear portable container
• 3-day supply of water and non-perishable food
• Can opener and utility knife
• Battery-powered weather radio
• Cellphone charger
• Extra batteries
• Copies of insurance policies, identification and bank records
• Prescriptions, medical supplies
• First-Aid Kit
We hope these suggested tips will help keep you safe during hurricane season. Please remember that if you experience any property damage from fire, water, mold or storms to Call Paul. We’re available 24/7 to assist you!