Hurricane season began Sunday, but the majority of Georgia residents – 64 percent – do not make advance preparations, according to a recent AAA Consumer Pulse survey.
Colorado State University predicts a below-average hurricane season with nine named storms, three hurricanes and one major hurricane this year. If a named storm caused evacuation warnings in Georgia, one in 10 residents says he would not leave home.
Of those who would evacuate, the majority (70 percent) say they would only leave for a Category 2 hurricane or greater.
Preliminary reports from the National Weather Service predict Augusta Regional Airport will receive no rainfall in June, compared with the 5½ inches reported at the airport last month. The record for May is 9.6 inches in 1979.
“Residents should stay vigilant and be prepared for a major weather event,” said Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for the AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Part of that preparation includes having a storm kit, evacuation plan and flood insurance. Every home is in a flood zone, whether you live near the coast or not.”
Floods are the No. 1 disaster in the United States. Homes in low-risk zones account for 25 percent of flood claims every year.
Just two inches of water in a 2,000-square-foot home can cause $21,000 in damage. However, only one in 10 Georgians has flood insurance, which is separate from homeowner’s insurance.
A preferred risk flood insurance policy costing 85 cents a day will cover $100,000 in structural damage and $40,000 for damage to contents inside the home.
“Only 37 percent (of) Georgians know there is a 30-day waiting period for a new flood policy to take effect,” Jenkins said. “If you wait until a storm is named and heading your direction, you will be too late. Now is a great time to check with your homeowner’s insurance provider to ensure you are covered before the busy storm season begins.”