The National Weather Service released its Natural Hazard Statistics Report for 2013 earlier this summer. In all, extreme weather events caused over $12.7 billion in property and crop damage in 2013, down significantly from 2012’s $38.7 billion. Of the $12.7 billion, property damage accounted for $8.8 billion in losses.
Costliest Types of Property Damage
What caused the most property damage last year?
- Tornadoes – $3.6 billion
- Flash and river flooding – $2.2 billion
- Thunderstorms / high winds – $1.2 billion
At a more local level, Georgia had over $151 million in property damage in 2013; Florida came in at just over $64 million; North Carolina had over $48 million in property damage while its neighbor to the south, South Carolina, received over $18 million in property damage.
What does all of this mean to you, the property owner in the southeastern United States? Severe weather events are a fact of life in the coastal Atlantic states, and we still have many weeks left in 2014. As the hurricane season winds down, we’ll soon be bracing ourselves for winter storms.
What to Do Now
We’d like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that the best time to prepare is now, before a weather event wreaks havoc on your property. Make sure to get your home ready for winter by clearing out your gutters, checking slopes for proper drainage, sealing windows and doors, inspecting storm shutters, and stocking your emergency disaster kit. We also recommend reviewing your insurance policy to ensure you have sufficient insurance (and that it keeps up with inflation).
While you’re at it, get out your smartphone and take lots of photos of your home and your belongings. Having a complete home inventory along with documented proof of your home’s pre-loss condition can save you a lot of heartache and work should your property become severely damaged.
What to Do If Your Property Becomes Damaged
Know this: You don’t have to file your insurance claim on your own. Contact us as soon as it is practical for a free consultation.