Recent Storm Damage Posts
What Causes Thunderstorms?
Thunderstorms form when an air mass becomes so unstable that it overturns (convects) violently. "Unstable" means that the air in the lowest layers is unusally warm and humid, or that the upper layers are unusually cool, or oftentimes, both. Pockets of rising near-surface air in an unstable air mass expand and cool, and as some of the water vapor present condenses into a cloud it releases heat, which then makes the air parcel even warmer, forcing it to rise still higher in the atmosphere. If the lower level air is sufficiently warm and humid, and the higher altitude air is sufficiently cool, this process continues until a tall convective cloud - the thunderstorm - is formed.
Facts about FEMA
If a home is destroyed in a storm that is later declared a disaster by the federal government and grants are made available, claims still need to be made through the homeowner's primary insurance company. Policyholders should understand that their home insurance is their primary source of coverage. Fema only pays AFTER insurance. When Superstorm Sandy hit the east coast in 2012, FEMA determined that there was enough damage to make an "individual assistance" declaration and they provided grants to homeowners to help them with temporary living expenditures such as finding food and shelter. There grants were not intended to rebuild their homes.
When storms hit, almost every homeowner affected files insurance claims immediately following the event. This means that insurance company adjusters are inundated with claims, phone calls and questions. Homeowners need to be patient with the process. In addition, during catastrophes, insurance companies may send in large teams of adjusters to deal with the high volume of claims. Catastrophe adjusters are often not permanent employees of the insurance company but rather contractors who are hired on a loss-by-loss basis to handle weather disasters across a nation. For that reason, they may only be available for a short time. They move on to other areas or go back home before claims are closed and then homeowners have to start again when the next group of adjusters arrive on the scene. Homeowners need to keep their own files and document everything so they won't have to start all over again when their file changes hands.
Hurricane Florence Facts
Hurricane Florence was a powerful and long-lived Cape Verde hurricane that caused severe damage in the Carolinas in September 2018, primarily as a result of freshwater flooding. Florence dropped a maximum total of 35.93 inches of rain in Elizabethtown, North Carolina, becoming the wettest tropical cyclone recorded in the Carolinas and also the eighth-wettest overall in the contiguous United States. The sixth named storm, third hurricane, and the first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, Florence originated from a strong tropical wave that emerged off the west coast of Africa on August 30, 2018. Steady organization resulted in the formation of a tropical depression on the next day near Cape Verde. Progressing along a steady west-northwest trajectory, the system acquired tropical storm strength on September 1, and fluctuated in strength for several days over an open ocean. An unexpected bout of rapid intensification ensued on September 4-5, culminating with Florence becoming a Category 4 major hurricane.
Hurricane Michael Facts
Hurricane Michael was the third most intense Atlantic hurricane to make landfall in the contiguous United States in terms of pressure, behind the 1935 Labor Day hurricane and Hurricane Camille of 1969, as well as the strongest Atlantic hurricane to form in the month of October since Hurricane Wilma. It was also the strongest storm in terms of maximum sustained wind speed to strike the contiguous United States since Andrew in 1992. In addition, it was the strongest storm on record in the Florida panhandle, and was the fourth-strongest landfalling hurricane in the United States, in terms of wind speed. By October 28, at least 60 deaths had been attributed to the storm, including 45 in the United States and 15 in Central America. Hurricane Michael caused at least $14.58 billion in damages, and at least $3.3 billion in insurance claims.
Good News…Bad News
Good News Bad News...
Before you end up on the roof waiting for a ride…make sure you are prepared for whatever happens. We can help get life back to normal once the storm has passed but it helps to be prepared before it arrives.
Basic Emergency Supply Kit
In celebration of National Preparedness Month here is a list of recommended items for a basic emergency supply kit:
- Water (one gallon of water per person per day)
- Food (non-perishable – 3 day supply)
- Manual can opener
- Battery operated radio, preferably an NOAA weather radio with tone alert and extra batteries.
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First Aid kit
- Whistle (to signal for help)
- Dust masks or bandanas
- Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities (if necessary)
- Local Maps
- Hygiene items
- Important documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account information
- Fire Extinguisher
- Matches in a water proof container
Make sure you are prepared for whatever happens.