- Published on Wednesday, 05 June 2013 23:00
- Written by Super User
RALEIGH -- The Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1, and Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin is reminding all North Carolinians to prepare for severe weather by visiting NCHurriClaims.com.
NCHurriClaims.com is North Carolina's source of insurance-related information pertaining to hurricanes and other natural disasters. The website includes tips for before and after a storm, descriptions of insurance coverages, important contact information and more.
"Everyone in North Carolina is at potential risk of property damage or loss from hurricanes or other natural disasters," said Goodwin. "Don’t wait until a storm is approaching to prepare."
To prepare for hurricane season:
• Review your insurance policies. Make sure that you have appropriate insurance coverage for your needs. Know what your policy does and does not cover. Standard homeowners policies do not cover flood damage; flood insurance can be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program and must be in place for 30 days before coverage takes effect. Renters should consider purchasing coverage for their personal property through renters' insurance.
• Make a home inventory and compile documents. Make a list of your belongings and take pictures or video of them. Keep your inventory list, purchase receipts, pictures/video and copies of your insurance policies in a safe-deposit box or other secure place away from your home, or email them to yourself. Bring copies of important documents with you if you are forced to evacuate.
• Take action to protect your property in the event of a storm. Cover your windows with storm shutters, siding or plywood. Move vehicles into garages when possible, or park them near your home and away from trees. Prevent outdoor items from becoming projectiles that can harm your property or neighboring homes. Grills, patio furniture and potted plants should be moved into the house or garage, or tied down.
If you have questions or problems concerning your insurance coverage, contact the Department of Insurance Consumer Services Division at 1-800-546-5664. Learn more at NCHurriClaims.com
NOAA Predicts Active 2013 Hurricane Season
In its 2013 Atlantic hurricane season outlook issued May 23, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting an active or extremely active season this year.
For the six-month hurricane season, which begins June 1, NOAA’s Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook says there is a 70 percent likelihood of thirteen to twenty named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which seven to eleven could become hurricanes (with winds of 74 mph or higher), including three to six major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher).
These ranges are well above the seasonal average of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.
“With the devastation of Sandy fresh in our minds, and another active season predicted, everyone at NOAA is committed to providing life-saving forecasts in the face of these storms and ensuring that Americans are prepared and ready ahead of time.” said Kathryn Sullivan, Ph.D., NOAA acting administrator. “As we saw first-hand with Sandy, it’s important to remember that tropical storm and hurricane impacts are not limited to the coastline. 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, that is 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 Sea; and
El Niño is not expected to develop and suppress hurricane formation.
“This year, oceanic and atmospheric conditions in the Atlantic basin are expected to produce more and stronger hurricanes,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “These conditions include weaker wind shear, warmer Atlantic waters and conducive winds patterns coming from Africa."
NOAA’s seasonal hurricane outlook is not a hurricane landfall forecast; it does not predict how many storms will hit land or where a storm will strike. Forecasts for individual storms and their impacts will be provided throughout the season by NOAA’s National Hurricane Center.
New for this hurricane season are improvements to forecast models, data gathering, and the National Hurricane Center communication procedure for post-tropical cyclones. In July, NOAA plans to bring online a new supercomputer that will run an upgraded Hurricane Weather Research and Forecasting (HWRF) model that provides significantly enhanced depiction of storm structure and improved storm intensity forecast guidance. Also this year, Doppler radar data will be transmitted in real time from NOAA’s Hurricane Hunter aircraft. This will help forecasters better analyze rapidly evolving storm conditions, and these data could further improve the HWRF model forecasts by 10 to 15 percent.
The National Weather Service has also made changes to allow for hurricane warnings to remain in effect, or to be newly issued, for storms like Sandy that have become post-tropical. This flexibility allows forecasters to provide a continuous flow of forecast and warning information for evolving or continuing threats.
“The start of hurricane season is a reminder that our families, businesses and communities need to be ready for the next big storm,” said 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. Learn more about how you can prepare for hurricane season at www.ready.gov/hurricanes.”
Next week, May 26 - June 1, is National Hurricane Preparedness Week. To help those living in hurricane-prone areas prepare, NOAA is offering hurricane preparedness tips, along with video and audio public service announcements in both English and Spanish, featuring NOAA hurricane experts and the FEMA administrator at www.nhc.noaa.gov/prepare/
NOAA’s outlook for the Eastern Pacific basin is for a below-normal hurricane season and the Central Pacific basin is also expected to have a below-normal season. NOAA will issue an updated outlook for the Atlantic hurricane season in early August, just prior to the historical peak of the season. NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources.
Source: NOAA and North Carolina Department of Insurance.