Changing weather patterns and increasing wind speeds are predicted to push strong storms up the East Coast in the next 30 years. According to First Street Foundation’s report, “The 7th National Risk Assessment: Worsening Winds,” by 2053 a whopping 13.4 million more properties in the United States will be vulnerable to tropical cyclones. First Street Foundation is a nonprofit that works to define and communicate climate change risks.
The increased exposure is due to the greater proportion of hurricanes expected to reach major hurricane status (Category 3 to 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale) today and in the future. These storms, the report says, will likely track further northward along the U.S. East Coast.
First Street’s research also shows Florida can expect a shift in the landfall of hurricanes from the south in cities such as Miami to more northern locations like Jacksonville. Because of the shift in location and strength of hurricanes in Florida, the number of properties in the state that may face a Category 5 hurricane increases from 2.5 million in 2023 to 4.1 million by 2053. Florida is the most exposed state and was hard hit in 2022 by Hurricane Ian, causing $60-plus billion in insured losses and a total of $100 million in total losses.
Estimated Property Damages
First Street, in partnership with global engineering and consulting firm Arup, also calculated the dollar value of expected damage and the associated downtime for each specific building structure. They took into account factors such as the number of stories, residential or commercial category, spatial orientation of the building, roof type, building material, and more. According to First Street’s property damage estimates, the U.S. can expect an annual loss of $18.5 billion from hurricane winds this year, rising to just under $20 billion in 30 years. The vast majority of that $1.5 billion in increased damages – about $1 billion – is due to increased exposure in Florida alone.
June 1 Marks the Beginning of Hurricane Season
With Hurricane season right around the corner, preparedness is critical. Colorado State University’s Atlantic Seasonal Hurricane Activity forecast predicts 13 named storms, six hurricanes, and two major hurricanes for 2023.
Insureds should be checking their policies for coverage, limits, and deductibles. In addition, they need to have a plan in place that accounts for the following:
- Evacuating ahead of time
- Having emergency supplies on hand
- Creating an inventory of property
- Taking measures to protect the home and business
You can provide insureds with hurricane with additional preparedness steps from here.