It’s no longer “if” but “what” this year’s strong El Niño will do to Florida’s winter weather, and what it means for the 2016 hurricane season to come. The first El Niño storms of the season are being felt up and down the west coast, with many months ahead before the drought weary west can see an end in sight. However, even 3,000 miles away, we in Florida may have forgotten the 1997-98 El Niño and its effects on Florida weather patterns. Some of you whippersnappers would have still been watching Barney!
A Deadly Temper Tantrum
The two previous El Niños in 1998 and 2007 unleashed a spate of tornadoes across the middle of the state that resulted in a third of all known tornado fatalities in the state of Florida. Hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed, and many families affected. We do know that NOAA is forecasting 33 percent cooler than normal temperatures for the state, and as much as a 70 percent increase in rainfall. That’s leaving aside the predictions of experts at the University of Colorado who believe that this year’s El Niño predicts an increase in South Atlantic hurricane activity.
What does this mean for the average SoFlo homeowner?
It’s time to take out your policies and do some homework.
It’s easy to get complacent at such a lucky streak, and to think that you can just coast on your current policies, but that’s a very good way to risk losing it all. Think about it. Your home may have increased in value, you may have made improvements not mentioned in your current policy, or you might have more personal property to cover. Building codes and materials may have changed enough to make a rebuilding of your home more expensive than you’re currently insured for. Nobody wants to go “Lions and tigers and bears!” at you, but the risks are very real, and coming our way. Get out the policies and let’s review.
- Homeowners Insurance: Need to cover your personal possessions, loss of use, additional living expenses, and hazards not covered by flood and windstorm.
- Flood Insurance: As we have mentioned previously, flood maps have changed and you may be in a different zone entirely. You may have moved up or down the line in terms of flood risk, but you won’t know until you have a look at the flood map.
- Windstorm Insurance: Yes, you need it. This is also called hurricane insurance, and what is a hurricane except a windstorm on a huge scale? There are a lot of ways to rack up discounts by mitigating hazards here.
Next, get all your paperwork together and give us a call, whether you need an update or a whole revamp of your coverage, it’s best to do it before the storms come calling. We can help you get back to a sunny state by giving you peace of mind, knowing that you’re covered against whatever Mother Nature’s brat can fling your way.