It is hurricane season one more time

It is hurricane season one more time


In the U.S., the hurricane season has a different duration depending on your coast. The Atlantic season lasts from June until the beginning of September, whereas on the Pacific coast the season lasts from mid-May until the end of November.

The 2018 season

Here we are in mid-September and so far this year, the number of storms has been lower than normal but it seems that Mother Nature made up that shortfall by stuffing the power and water of several storms into Florence. Why some seasons have more impactful storms than others is a mystery to me.

Hurricane formation

I find it fascinating how a hurricane can come from nothing to become a huge threat to life and property.

In the first place, a set of very definite conditions have to exist. There are so many more times a hurricane does not form than it does.

Hurricanes tend to form close to the equator because the first pre-condition is warm moist air. Initially, the warm air will begin to rise, cooling as it does so. As more warm air is added at the bottom, the cooler air at the top will start to rotate. This is the Coriolis effect and is created in part by the earth’s rotation. Unlike water going down the plug hole, it does rotate anti-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and the other way, down under.

At this point the low pressure may turn into a tropical depression, but it still has a long way to go to become a hurricane. It has to go through the stages of a tropical storm before it can become even a Category 1 hurricane, and then there are 4 more categories until it reaches the top level of monstrosity.

But don’t underestimate even a tropical storm. Wind and water damage, especially if the storm coincides with a high tide, can be a possibility.

Dealing with damage from a hurricane

If you live in an area where there is the likelihood of hurricanes your first step is to know where you are beforehand.

Before a storm, you’d be wise to take an inventory of your home and to photograph it too. Thorough documentation is going to make it easier for you to make a claim when and if damage happens. It is worth taking the time to know where you were. Insurance is there to put things back to how they were before.

Assume your policy covers up to $150,000 of damage. In the event $70,000 of damage is assessed, you will receive $70,000 in restitution, not the value of the policy. Insurers are not there to deliver you a windfall; they are there to fix what got broken. Having a clear picture and documentation of the current state of your home, before any damage, is really important.

Make a claim as quickly as you can. This will require you document the damage as carefully as you did the pre-damaged house. Once you have submitted the claim the insurance company is under a legal requirement to provide funds quickly. The sooner you submit, the sooner you will be paid.


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