Most Floridians Ready As Hurricane Season Begins

Tax holiday on hurricane prep runs through June 7

With major storms hitting the Sunshine State the last two years, a new report shows that more Floridians are prepared for the 2018 hurricane season which started on Friday.

AAA released a survey on Thursday finding 81 percent of Floridians are already making preparations for hurricanes, up from 58 percent in 2016.

Most Floridians–78 percent–say they would leave their homes if ordered to evacuate though 22 percent say they would stay put. Most Florida residents who say they would evacuate–62 percent of them–say they would leave their homes if there was a category three hurricane or greater. Two thirds of those surveyed–66 percent–say they have a plan already prepared in case a hurricane strikes.

Bobby Futch, the vice president of insurance claims for AAA and the Auto Club Group, said that Florida residents are better prepared this year for hurricanes after the events of the past two years.

“Major hurricanes like Harvey and Irma seem to be making residents more aware of the dangers of hurricane season and the need to make advanced preparations,” Futch said. “Storm preparations should include having a storm kit, evacuation plan, and proper insurance coverage, which includes flood insurance.”

AAA’s survey found that most Florida residents–70 percent of them–do not have flood insurance. However, even if Floridians buy flood insurance now, it might not take effect for the start of hurricane season.

“Nearly half of residents in Florida do not know there is normally a 30-day waiting period for a new flood policy to take effect,” said Matt Nasworthy, the Florida public affairs director for AAA  and the Auto Club Group. “If you wait until a named storm is moving in your direction, you will be too late. Now is the time to check with your insurance agent to ensure you are covered before the busy storm season begins.”

Hurricane season begins on Friday and runs through the end of November. This year, the Colorado State University Meteorology Project team is predicting 14 named storms and seven hurricanes, three of which will be category three or higher.

AAA took an online poll of 400 Florida residents from April 4 through April 18 with a margin of error of +/- 5.6 percent.

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Article by Kevin Derby of Sunshine State News.

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News Talk Florida Staff