Dear Floridians, Why Aren’t You Doing Hurricane Prep?Daniel Caughill Dear Floridians, Why ArenWaiting out a hurricane can be seen as a rite of passage for true Floridians, on par with tolerating the annual pilgrimages of snow birds and spring breakers—or seeing an alligator in your neighbor’s pool.This shouldn’t surprise you; 36% of all hurricanes that landed on U.S. soil from 1900 to 2000 hit Florida, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). What is surprising, however, is that on the whole, Floridians aren’t all that good at preparing for these storms.According to a recent survey by Origin Global, more than half of Florida’s residents fail to take any of the recommended precautions to protect their homes from hurricane damage, such as installing impact-resistant doors, windows or roof shingles, or even storm shutters.“Our findings show that, despite the severity of last year’s hurricane season and the susceptibility of Florida to the elements, a surprising number of residents have not protected their homes against damage which could potentially cost them thousands of dollars to repair,” said Joe Halsall, a spokesman for Origin Global.
|Recommended safety measure||Residents who take action|
|Provision to secure outside objects||16.4%|
|None of the above||50.2%|
When you live in a state where named tropical storms are just another rainy day, there are certain precautions you should take to protect your home. And while you might want to replace your old patio furniture, there are more responsible ways to dispose of it than by simply allowing it to blow through your neighbor’s living room wall.Violent winds blow away patio furnitureWell, it’s their problem now Of course, failing to prepare for a hurricane can put your personal property at risk. This alone should be enough incentive to take precautions and to make sure you’re covered by a flood insurance policy. However, not following the recommended steps presents broader implications for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as a whole, and it means you’re probably missing out on some valuable insurance discounts, too.The side-effects of not preparing for a hurricaneThe United States suffered an estimated $265 billion in losses last year from just three hurricanes—Harvey, Maria and Irma—according to the NOAA.In regions where houses were submerged by rising water, much of these losses were inevitable. However, if your house only experienced moderate flooding that could have been mitigated if proper precautions were taken, protecting your own property wouldn’t have been the only benefit.Overburdening the NFIP The NFIP has run at a deficit since 2005, and to date it carries $24.6 billion of debt. Deficient premiums are a large part of the reason the program takes in less than it pays out, and despite recently announced rate hikes, it still won’t be collecting enough to cover its debt and pay for 2018’s anticipated claims.However, if property owners in Florida aren’t doing everything they can to minimize hurricane damage, they’re contributing to this burden as well, and they could be drawing funds from people who might need them more.Missing homeowners insurance discounts Some people are surprised to learn they need both a flood and homeowners insurance policy. Since flood damage can be so destructive, most homeowners insurance companies exclude floods from their coverage. Additionally, in some hurricane-prone areas, you might need separate windstorm coverage as well. However, homeowners policies still protect your home against some wind damage in addition to a host of other perils. Because of this, insurance companies my offer you a discount for windproofing your home.
Strong winds from Tropical Storm Bud hit Mexico’s Los CabosJULIET WILLIAMS,• Palm trees bend in heavy winds along the ocean coast as seen from the Marquis Los Cabos Resort, in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, Thursday, June 14, 2018. Tropical Storm Bud continued to weaken as it neared the southern end of the Baja California peninsula and its popular resorts on Thursday. (AP Photo/Juliet Williams)SAN JOSE DEL CABO, Mexico (AP) — Tropical Storm Bud lashed the southern end of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula, home to the popular beach resorts of Los Cabos, with heavy winds Thursday as locals and tourists braced for an expected landfall later in the day.The tops of palm trees whipped about in the gale and waves pounded the sand. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said tropical storm-force winds had reached the peninsula even as Bud’s center was still about 30 miles (50 kilometers) south of Cabo San Lucas.Related SearchesHurricane Bud PathHurricane Bud And Cabo San LucasHurricane Cabo 2018Hurricane Bud CaboLos Cabos MexicoMemories are still fresh of the extensive damage done in 2014 by a direct hit from Category 3 Hurricane Odile, and hotel operators were taking no chances.Workers at the Marquis Los Cabos hotel in San Jose del Cabo spent the last three days battening down the hatches — anchoring palm trees and using tarps to cover large windows that had all shattered during Odile. On Wednesday evening they removed beach chairs and umbrellas, and workers said the hotel had a safe room for guests if necessary.Overall, however, there was a sense of relief that Bud had been sapped of most of its punch from when it was a Category 4 hurricane two days earlier with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph (210 kph).By Thursday wind speeds had dropped to 45 mph (75 kph), strong enough to potentially do some damage, but likely nothing resembling the devastation wrought by Odile four years ago.The international airport appeared to be operating normally in the afternoon.Rodrigo Esponda, managing director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board, said all measures to protect the community and tourists were in place.For a tropical storm that means things like securing outdoor furniture to keep it from being hurtled around by the winds, but not evacuations or putting guests in shelters.”That is done when you have a hurricane that is Category 2 or 3 or more,” Esponda said.Esponda said that in the wake of the 2014 hurricane, authorities reviewed storm protocols and made some changes such as outfitting certain officials with satellite phones to communicate no matter what. Authorities periodically review storm preparedness at hotels and ensure employees have the right training in how to react.”There were many, many, many, many lessons learned after Hurricane Odile. … There could be some eventuality depending on mother nature, but the lessons are definitely there,” he said.Bud, the second named storm of the 2018 Pacific hurricane season, was moving toward the north-northwest at 7 mph (11 kph) and further weakening was expected, but it was forecast to still be at tropical-storm strength when it reaches land later in the day.After it crosses over the peninsula, the storm is then projected to move over the Gulf of California as a tropical depression and make a second landfall on the Mexican mainland by Friday night.A tropical storm warning was in effect for the Baja coast from Santa Fe to the state capital, La Paz, and tropical storm watches were issued for a stretch of the peninsula north of La Paz and from Altata to Huatabampito on the mainland.The Baja California Sur state government said the ports of Los Cabos were closed to all watercraft beginning midday Wednesday.The hurricane center said the storm could cause dangerous surf and bring 2 to 4 inches of rain to southern Baja California Sur and Sonora states on the mainland, threatening floods and landslides.Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo receive millions of international and domestic tourists each year.Also Thursday a tropical depression formed in the afternoon off southern Mexico, about 90 miles (150 kilometers) south-southwest of Acapulco.The hurricane center forecast it to strengthen into a tropical storm Friday and approach land by the weekend. The new storm was expected to dump 4 to 6 inches of rain along the coast of Guerrero state, including Acapulco._Associated Press writer Peter Orsi contributed from Mexico City.
2 tourists fell to their death in Portugal after apparently trying to take a selfie at the top of a 130-foot wallBusiness Insider•2 tourists fell to their death in Portugal after apparently trying to take a selfie at the top of a 130-foot wallA couple who are believed to be from Britain and Australia have fallen to their deaths in a Portuguese beach town. Rescue services said the evidence suggests the couple were taking a selfie next to the 130-foot (40m) tall beach wall and lost their balance. Portugal’s Correio de Manha reported that their bodies were found by a beach cleaner on Tuesday morning on the Praia dos Pescadores (Fishermen’s Beach) near Ericeira. Rescue service chief Rui Pereira da Terra told the Portuguese news agency Lusa: „Everything seems to indicate that the fall happened when they were probably trying to take a selfie. „Since we found a mobile phone on the wall, everything suggests the victims might have been taking