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Hurricane Season 2013 – Are you Prepared?

NOAA predicts active 2013 Atlantic hurricane season

MIAMI – May 24, 2013 – For the six-month hurricane season beginning June 1, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) has predicted a high number of storms – a 70 percent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which seven to 11 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including three to six major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher).

That ranges is above the seasonal average of 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.

NOAA’s seasonal hurricane outlook doesn’t attempt to predict whether a hurricane will make landfall or where one might strike. Floridians should prepare for a storm even in years where conditions suggest fewer hurricanes, however.

In relation to real estate sales, most property insurers have a “box” that limits coverage, though the size of the box varies by insurer. Once a hurricane enters that box, they stop issuing new property insurance policies. If a sale is pending, it could cause delays for homebuyers who need a mortgage, since most lenders require property insurance before they’ll release money.

“As we saw first-hand with Sandy, it’s important to remember that tropical storm and hurricane impacts are not limited to the coastline,” says Kathryn Sullivan, Ph.D., NOAA acting administrator. “Strong winds, torrential rain, flooding, and tornadoes often threaten inland areas far from where the storm first makes landfall.”

Three climate factors that strongly control Atlantic hurricane activity are expected to come together to produce an active or extremely active 2013 hurricane season. These are:

  • A continuation of the atmospheric climate pattern, which includes a strong west African monsoon, responsible for the ongoing era of high activity for Atlantic hurricanes that began in 1995
  • Warmer-than-average water temperatures in the tropical Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean
  • El Niño, which is not expected to develop and suppress hurricane formation

“The start of hurricane season is a reminder that our families, businesses and communities need to be ready for the next big storm,” says Joe Nimmich, FEMA associate administrator for Response and Recovery. “Preparedness today can make a big difference down the line, so update your family emergency plan and make sure your emergency kit is stocked.”

FEMA has a webpage that offers more information on hurricane preparation.

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