This past Friday, Florida’s Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie led an online discussion of ways Floridians can “get ready” for today’s June 1 start of hurricane season. Guthrie has 30 years of experience in Public Safety and Emergency Management, including 23 years as a Jacksonville Police Officer and Emergency Preparedness Coordinator.
Guthrie has been consistent in his messaging to encourage residents to talk to their insurance agent and do an “insurance check-up.” He shared the recent discussion he had with his own insurance agent to make sure he has enough coverage to rebuild his home in the event of a bad storm, recognizing that building material costs have increased significantly. He stressed that FEMA is not available to fill a gap in coverage and that the average FEMA payout to those affected post-disaster is around $4,000, with a maximum payout in the most extreme circumstances of around $35,000. He said that proper insurance coverage is the first line of defense to get ready for what is expected to be an active, above-average storm season this year – but not near the record-breaker last year that saw 30 named storms with 12 making landfall.
Also in the briefing was Ken Graham, National Hurricane Center Director, who provided hurricane statistics since 2017. Graham received his Bachelor of Atmospheric Science Degree at the University of Arizona, and earned a Master of Science Degree in Geosciences from Mississippi State University. Since 2017:
- 14 hurricanes have made landfall in the US with 6 of those being major events
- $353 billion in Total US Damage
- 12 storms with damages of one billion dollars or more
- 6 storms with damages of ten billion dollars or more
Interestingly, Graham announced that names of hurricanes will no longer emanate from the Greek alphabet for a variety of reasons including translation challenges into Spanish, French and other languages. The World Meteorological Organization Region IV Hurricane Committee is working on a new naming convention to be unveiled this hurricane season.
Please let us know if we can help write radio spots or other disaster messaging for those in your world. And feel free to share my fun Lisa’s Lucky 7 Hurricane Season Prep! Guide. Next up is a great assortment of post Memorial Day material that should give you great insight as you start your week.