By Brandon Stokes | Published July 18, 2023
In the last few years, hurricane season has been anything but “normal.” This year, it is safe to say that we can expect more of the same.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted a 40% chance of near-normal activity, with a 30% possibility of above-normal activity for the 2023 hurricane season.1 It is evident that seasonal changes have impacted both the frequency and severity of hurricanes in the last few years, with storms hitting later in the season and with record-breaking, unpredictable impact.
2023 NOAA predictions:
Because of the unpredictability of the season, proper preparation will be critical to maximizing recovery efforts post-events.
6 ways claims estimators can prepare for hurricane season
While we can’t predict what will happen, there are a few ways estimators can prepare for the unpredictable. Here are six considerations:
1. Expect the unexpected. Modeled hurricane paths are not always accurate! Hurricanes can make landfall anywhere along the coastline it’s predicted to pass, significantly impacting surrounding areas. Remember: No one should feel safe if they’re on the modeled path, so accounting for broader geographical impact zones is key.
2. Learn about the exposure area. Doing your homework on the communities that might be affected ahead of time will help you better prepare for post-storm needs. To better understand potential exposures, learn about the types of structures in the area and more about the local building codes required. Footings, roof types, and the structural framing must all comply with local building codes. For example, in Florida, basements are almost non-existent, but in some surrounding states, basements can be more frequent. Factors such as soil composition of the area will affect your cost and timeline for addressing damages after the storm.
3. Prepare a list of vetted resources. Once a storm hits, it’s already too late to contact licensed remediation professionals. Start sourcing and vetting qualified professionals early; ask them for certificates of insurance (COI), state licensures, and permits to ensure they can work and assess in your area. There are always teams that come into the hurricane area from neighboring states to grab the additional work post-storm. Before engaging with such teams, confirm they’ve got the right permits and licensing.
4. Collaborate with local disaster relief efforts. When people’s lives and livelihoods are at risk, the last thing you want to do is become a part of the problem. Too often, crews swarm a disaster area without collaborating with the requests of the local relief efforts. This causes more delays and traffic jams for emergency services trying to reach those in crisis, so make sure to be respectful of the circumstances and disaster relief efforts happening.
5. Anticipate supply chain delays. Disaster zones only amplify supply chain issues that are already limping along after a global pandemic. Whatever you think your timeline will be, anticipate continued delays in the face of a disaster.
6. Approach those impacted with compassion. It’s easy to lose sight of the humanity behind the numbers when you’re processing a host of CAT claims, but remember that each homeowner or business owner that you encounter is experiencing a significant loss. Do your best to notify those who may be affected by a hurricane prior to landfall and have them update their records for items covered by their insurance.
The experts you need when hurricanes hit
The jury is still out on how the 2023 hurricane season will compare to last year’s catastrophic events. But when hurricanes hit, having the right team of response experts can help you tackle recovery efforts appropriately.
This information is intended for informational purposes only. Each restoration project has unique properties and must be evaluated individually by knowledgeable consultants. RMC Group is not liable for any loss or damage arising out of or in connection with the use of this information.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration “NOAA predicts a near-normal 2023 Atlantic hurricane season,” May 25, 2023.