Hurricane Season Has Begun: 1-in-4 Floridians Would Ignore Hurricane Evacuation Warnings

June 16, 2022

The 2022 Hurricane Season officially began June 1st and runs through November 30th. Last week’s Storm should be a wake up call for all of us. According to NOAA Climate Prediction Center, the 2022 Season Outlook predicts above normal Hurricane Activity.

For the 2022 Hurricane Season, NOAA is forecasting a likely range of 14 to 21 Named Storms with winds of 39 miles per hour or higher, of which 6 to 10 could become Hurricanes with winds of 74 miles per hour or higher, including 3 to 6 Major CAT 3, 4 or 5 Hurricanes with winds of 111 miles per hour or higher. NOAA provides these ranges with a 70% confidence.

Regardless of how many Storms are predicted, we need to be prepared at all times for the possibility of a direct hit.

Hurricane Preparedness for Condo Dwellers
Living in an Apartment/Condo Community poses some unique considerations for Hurricane Preparedness. Sharing your walls and Communal Areas means some actions are your responsibilities, while others depend on your neighbors and management. The following tips will help Apartment Dwellers be prepared in case of a Storm.

Storage space in Apartments is often limited and storing your supplies may be challenging. If your kitchen is small, find space in a closet, under the bed or even behind the couch. Fill bathtubs and the washer with water that can be used to flush down toilets and used for sanitation needs. Don't stand near windows during a storm and keep your curtains drawn. The National Hurricane Center advises against using tape since it can cause a false sense of security and also lead to larger, more dangerous shards of glass blowing through your Apartment.

Pre-Register For Emergency Services (Broward)

Register with Broward County's Vulnerable Population Registry, this is especially important because COVID-19 Infections are still on the rise. This Registry allows people who are Disabled, frail or have health issues to register in advance with their City so that Emergency Workers may plan a better response to vulnerable residents in a Recovery Effort following a Hurricane or Other Emergency.

The Registry is not a guarantee of services, but it enables Emergency Workers to better respond in a Recovery Effort. Each City may use the Vulnerable Population Registry List in a different way, based on their City's Recovery Plans. For more information or to Register, Call: 3-1-1. Or: (954) 831-4000. Or Visit: https://webapps2.broward.org/VulnerableRegistry/Welcome.aspx. The Vulnerable Population Registry does not sign you up for a Special Needs Shelter or Evacuation Transportation. For Sheltering and Transportation information, Visit Special Medical Needs: https://www.broward.org/AtRisk/Pages/SpecialNeeds.aspx Or Call: (954) 831-3902.

If you are dependent on Electricity for your Medical Needs, or have a Medical Condition that cannot be supported at a General Population Shelter, we recommend you Pre-Register for the Broward County Special Needs Emergency Sheltering and Transportation Program. Special Needs Shelter Applications are available At: https://www.broward.org/AtRisk/Pages/default.aspx Or to request that an Application be Mailed to you, Please Contact the Broward County Emergency Management Division At: (954) 831-3902.

Pre-Register For Emergency Services (Miami-Dade)

The Emergency & Evacuation Assistance Program (EEAP) provides Evacuation Support to residents who need Specialized Transportation Assistance or whose Medical Needs prevent them from Evacuating on their own.

Residents with Disabilities or who need Skilled Nursing Care, Assistance with Daily Living or have Life-Saving Medical Equipment dependent on Electricity should Register with the EEAP. For more information, you can call the EEAP Hotline At: (305) 513-7700. This Program is for individuals with Functional and Access needs who live alone or with families. The Program offers: Specialized Transportation, Safe Shelter, Medical Monitoring and Wellness Checks.

Residents who require Evacuation Assistance should Register for the EEAP prior to an Emergency to ensure help will be given when needed. It may also be utilized Post-Disaster to provide other Assistance. Pre-Registered residents will receive priority during an Emergency.

Where To Get Local Information About A Storm

Hallandale Beach - You can get Emergency Management information At: www.cohb.org/EM and You can call the City's Hotline At: (954) 457-1489. For Automated Alerts, make sure you've signed up for Robocall Alerts from the City by registering At: www.cohb.org/signup. Please make sure when you're registering that you input your address as well.

Hollywood - The City of Hollywood Emergency Management supports each Department to ensure the safety of Hollywood residents and businesses during all Emergencies. If you have questions for the Department, Contact Jaime Hernandez At: (954) 921-3053.

Aventura - Sign up for free Emergency Alerts and they’ll notify you about Weather Emergencies such as: Tropical Storm or Hurricane Warnings issued by the National Weather Service or any other Emergency that may require public protective actions. In the event of an Emergency, you'll get a message with details. To register, Visit: https://www.cityofaventura.com/258/CodeRED-Emergency-Notification-System

Complacency or Cost
A new AAA Survey reveals that a growing number of Floridians are more concerned about this year’s Hurricane Season, yet there’s still a large number of residents who do not have an Emergency Plan.

High Gas Prices are beginning to factor into Floridians’ hesitation to get out of harm’s way. Two-in-five Respondents (42%) say high prices and the availability of Gas would make them less willing to Evacuate their Home, if recommended to do so.

“Prices at the pump are likely to remain high throughout the summer,” said Mark Jenkins, The Spokesman Of AAA Auto Club Group. “So, if you’re worried about Evacuation costs, it may be a good idea to start setting aside some money now.”

Storm Strength, Pets and Property Damage
A quarter of Floridians (25%) say they would ignore Evacuation Warnings altogether. Of those who would Evacuate, three-in-five (60%) would only leave for an approaching Category 3 Hurricane or stronger.

Some of the top reasons people cited for staying home are: Being unable to bring their Pets or don’t have a safe option for them (30%), Don’t know where to go (28%), in case there’s Damage to their Home/Property that I can fix (25%) and Other Financial Reasons (e.g. can’t afford a Hotel – 23%).

“Preparation is key to making sure you aren’t stuck in the path of a deadly storm,” Jenkins said. “Now is the time to develop a few options for your Pets. Keep in mind there are various Pet-Friendly Hotels and Shelters. If you’re worried about Property Damage, contact an Insurance Professional now to review your Policies. Having adequate Coverage will give you the peace of mind in knowing that anything Damaged while you’re gone can be repaired or replaced.”

There are some things people can do right now to prepare for the Storm Season.

If you have not taken steps to prepare your Household, now is the time to make sure you have a plan and build a Disaster Supply Kit. Consumers can purchase qualifying Disaster Preparedness Tax Exempt Supplies during the 2022 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday. Passed by the Florida Legislature and signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis, the Sales Tax Holiday began on Saturday, May 28th, 2022 and ends soon on Friday, June 10th, 2022. For a list of covered items, Please Visit: https://floridarevenue.com/disasterprep/Documents/2022DPposter11X17.pdf

Review your Insurance Coverage
Review your Homeowner’s Insurance with your Licensed Insurance Agent to determine if you have adequate Protection and remember to discuss your Deductibles. Flood Damage is not covered under your Homeowner’s Policy. “Unfortunately, many Homeowners do not realize until it’s too late that their Homeowner’s Policy does not cover Flooding,” Pintacuda said. “We encourage residents to look into a Flood Policy now. There’s a 30 day waiting period for all new Flood Insurance Policies. So if you wait until a Storm is approaching, it will be too late.”

The two biggest sources of Hurricane Damage are Wind and Torrential Rain resulting in Flooding. Flooding is the number one Disaster in the United States.

A quarter of Floridians (25%) are unaware that most Homeowner’s Insurance Policies do not cover Flood Damage. While 3-in-5 (61%) say they are concerned about experiencing a Flood at their Home, only 25% claim to have a Flood Insurance Policy.

Every zone is a Flood Zone. Nearly 40% of all Flood Insurance Claims come from Homes which are not considered High-Risk Flood Zones. Flood losses are costly. One inch of water can cost $27,000 or more to repair. From 2015-2020, Flood Insurance Policyholders that sustained a Covered Flood Loss received an average Claim Payment of $68,000, which never has to be repaid. Federal Disaster Assistance is not compensation for your losses, it is a Low-Interest Loan.

A ‘Preferred Risk’ Flood Insurance Policy can cost around a dollar a day for Coverage of $75,000 in Structural Damage and $30,000 for Damage to contents inside the Home, so it's a smart investment!

Review your Auto Policy
Do you have Comprehensive Coverage? Storm Damage to your car is not automatically covered by your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy. Comprehensive Coverage is not required in Florida, but would help if your vehicle is damaged by hail, is flooded, or a tree falls on it.

Store Your Information
Store your Insurance Policy Number and Claim Phone Number in your phone in case you need to make a Claim after the Storm. Also pack away Important Documents in a portable waterproof container. Documents could include: Birth Certificates, Social Security Cards, Insurance Policy Information and more. You should also document your belongings by walking through your home with a video camera or smartphone. Keep a record of large purchases including the cost of the item, purchase date and Model and Serial Numbers.

Now is the time to start making preparations, not when a Storm approaches. Follow these simple tips and you will save yourself a lot of worry over the next six months.