Preparing for the 2021 Florida Hurricane Season during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Preparing for the 2021 Florida Hurricane Season during the COVID-19 Pandemic
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Preparing for the 2021 Florida Hurricane Season during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Preparing for the 2021 Florida Hurricane Season during the COVID-19 PandemicIf you live in Florida, you’re probably accustomed to preparing for hurricane season during the spring months. The 2021 hurricane season, however, presents unique challenges for Florida homeowners, both because it is expected to include above-average activity and because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Preparing now is the key to protecting your property and your loved ones.


What Are the Predictions for the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season?

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season was one for the record books. With 30 named storms, the 2020 season took the number one spot for the most ever recorded and for requiring authorities to turn to the Greek alphabet for names — something that had only happened once prior to the 2020 season. In addition, the United States suffered 12 direct strikes, three more than the previous record of nine from the 1916 hurricane season. Given the ferocity of the 2020 hurricane season, Floridians undoubtedly want to know what experts predict for the 2021 season.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on June 1st and ends on November 30th. In recent years, however, tropical systems have started forming earlier in the year, causing experts to consider moving up the start date to the middle of May. For 2021, the official start date will remain June 1st; however, the National Hurricane Center will begin issuing regular Tropical Weather Outlooks two weeks earlier, on May 15th.

Weather forecasters appear to agree that the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season will likely be more active than average; however, it will not be the record-breaking year that 2020 was. At the end of the 2020 hurricane season, Tropical Storm Risk issued an extended-range forecast for the 2021 season. That prediction calls for slightly above-normal activity, including 16 named storms, seven hurricanes, and three major hurricanes. AccuWeather’s tropical weather experts issued a similar prediction, calling for the 2021 season to produce 16-20 named storms.

Of the 16 – 20 named storms predicted, seven to 10 will most likely  reach hurricane strength. Three to five of those hurricanes are predicted to become major hurricanes, defined as a Category 3 or higher storm that has maximum sustained winds of 111 mph or greater. Moreover, the experts at AccuWeather expect three to five storms to directly impact the mainland U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands over the course of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.


Preparing for the 2021 Florida Hurricane Season

If you are a long-time Florida resident, preparing for hurricane season may be second nature to you by now. Nevertheless, there are some additional factors to consider for the 2021 Florida hurricane season because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published some guidance that may be helpful, including:

  • Give yourself more time than usual to prepare your emergency food, water, and medical supplies. When possible, use home delivery to purchase disaster supplies.
  • Make sure vital medication is on hand by keeping prescriptions filled; however, sign up for mail-order delivery or call in your prescription ahead of time and use drive-through windows or curbside pickup when possible.
  • Check for updated plans for evacuations and shelters, including shelters for your pets.
  • Prepare an evacuation “go kit” with personal items you cannot do without during an emergency. Include items that can help protect you and others from COVID-19, such as:
    • Hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
    • Bar or liquid soap
    • Disinfectant wipes
    • At least two masks for each person.
  • Have several ways to receive weather alerts, such as National Weather Service cell phone alerts, NOAA Weather Radio, or (@NWS) Twitter alerts.
  • Check what local shelters are open. Locations may be different this year because of Covid-19.
  • Follow CDC recommendations for staying safe and healthy in a public disaster shelter if you must evacuate to one.
  • When you check on neighbors and friends, be sure to follow social distancing recommendations and other CDC recommendations to protect yourself and others.
  • If you plan to evacuate to the home of family or friends, talk to them now about how you can all best protect yourselves from COVID-19.
  • Have a plan in place in case someone in your family or in the household you are staying with becomes sick with COVID-19.
  • Make a plan and prepare a disaster kit for your pets. Find out if your disaster shelter will accept pets.


Where Can I Get Help with a Hurricane Damage Insurance Claim?

Another important aspect of preparing for hurricane season is ensuring that your home and property are adequately insured in the event of tropical storm or hurricane damage. Review your homeowners insurance policy and consider purchasing hurricane insurance if you do not have adequate protection.

If you want an authority on insurance coverage to review your policy, help you prepare a claim after a hurricane or other storm damage, or handle a dispute with your insurance company after a claim is denied, delayed, or undervalued, contact the Orlando hurricane insurance claim attorneys at Malik Law. Call us at 407-500-1000 or submit our online form today for a free consultation with an experienced Florida insurance claim attorney.

Imran Malik
Imran Malik
Imran Malik, rated AV® Preeminent, by Martindale-Hubbell, is the founding member of Malik Law P.A. An AV® Rating signifies that a lawyer has reached the heights of professional excellence. He has practiced law for a number of years, and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity by fellow attorneys in his area of practice. Martindale-Hubbell is the oldest and most trusted lawyer information service in America.