By Charles Sykes and Regina Richards
Are Americans prepared for a major hurricane, anyway? “Not if you get a preview” of what Hurricane Irma might do in Florida next week.
Experts say that Irma, after making a meandering, eastward turn on Monday, should turn more back west as the Atlantic storms work on a northward path toward the Caribbean. The U.S. Coast Guard says the storm has recurved, meaning it is no longer a tropical storm as of 5 p.m. EDT Sunday.
The Coast Guard says it expects to see a high threat of Hurricane Matthew-like storm surge, high winds and waves, and minor to moderate river flooding in southern and western Florida.
‘NEVER TOO LATE’
With the arrival of one of the winter storms, and all-but-certain stay of Hurricane Nate, it is not too late to increase your insurance coverage.
However, don’t wait until the last minute. The sooner you act to take the necessary steps to protect your home, it is easier to get qualified for the best rates, says Ann Norris, director of operations for the Insurance Information Institute. “You never should have to run out to the store and buy a new coveragewhich is why it’s never too late to review your policy.”
On Friday, the Insurance Information Institute recommended that Floridians be proactive about preparation. “Sign up for extra flood insurance, write a home inventory and if you have flood insurance stay with the same carrier if you can,” Norris says.
While we all wish that 2017 could end after we finally have our much-needed break from the relentless stress and aggravation of the recent hurricanes, it appears as if the season just isn’t over yet.
In fact, much depends on whether Hurricane Maria, and its eye just moving into Puerto Rico from the Atlantic, takes a northward track, which would lead to a landfall here. Then again, Maria could stay east and be headed elsewhere, so it’s anyone’s guess what path Maria will take.
For right now, it is safe to say that this fall’s two seasonnings could bring us more Floridian-style destructive storms.
“If one looks at the historical hurricane path of Irma, it does have a similar path to last year’s hurricane, right back where it started,” says Barry Lee Myers, president and CEO of the Florida International Hurricane Center.
NO WALK TO THE SWAMP
“That could be dangerous for millions of Florida residents who have been through the storms — mostly a walk to the swamp,” Myers warns. “I think for Florida residents, it’s not really a question of whether they need to prepare, but how much they should be prepared to deal with a hurricane.
“The crucial point is having a plan — with some sheltering,” he adds.
Nevertheless, it is always better to be prepared than sorry and if you do you will thank yourself when the next hurricane comes to your area.
The deadline to obtain hurricane insurance is Friday, November 24th. That’s the deadline to request what is called Individualized Policy Forms (IPFs). If you live in a high-risk area, you should apply for a policy even sooner.
If you live in a high-risk area, you should apply for a policy even sooner.
The IPF form gives you a summary of the features of your policy, such as hurricane deductible, limits, coverage, age of your coverage, out-of-pocket expenses, and any additional coverage you need to be in the clear. It also explains exactly what your policy covers (wind, flood and hail).
You can find a list of insurers here: www.sf-i.org/hearing_watchesand_warnings/hurricane_insurance-info/index.html.
If you have a life insurance policy, you will need to find out how it might be affected by this storm.
If you don’t, this is your chance to do so.
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Charles Sykes and Regina Richards are the authors of “Making Millions In The New Economy”
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