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SAINT JOHNS, Fla., Aug. 21, 2020 – U.S. Gulf Coast residents from Texas to Florida must prepare now for what appears likely to occur next week—the near-simultaneous arrival of two separate named storms, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I).
Tropical Storm Laura may impact numerous areas of Florida from the Keys to the Panhandle, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). Laura is projected to make landfall near the Florida/Alabama border on Wednesday, Aug. 26 as a Category 1 hurricane.
Tropical Depression 14, which is expected to become Tropical Storm Marco, is currently forecast to strengthen in the Gulf of Mexico and make landfall near the Texas/Louisiana border on Tuesday, Aug. 25 as either a tropical storm or a Category 1 hurricane.
There have never been two hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico at the same time. The last time two tropical cyclones simultaneously made landfall in the continental U.S. was Sept. 5, 1933, when the Category 3 Cuba-Brownsville hurricane made landfall near Brownsville, Texas, and the Treasure Coast tropical storm made landfall near Cedar Key, Fla., according to Triple-I non-resident scholar Phil Klotzbach, PhD, a research scientist in the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University (CSU). CSU released this week its 14-day Atlantic Hurricane Activity forecast, which called for “above-normal” amounts of hurricane activity through Sept. 1. The Atlantic hurricane season concludes on Nov. 30.
The NHC believes Laura and Marco will generate torrential rain, damaging winds, life-threatening storm surge and flash flooding while also noting the track and intensity level of these two systems is subject to significant changes over the next several days.
Five named storms have already made continental U.S. landfalls this season: Hurricanes Hanna and Isaias, and Tropical Storms Bertha, Cristobal and Fay. If Laura and Marco make landfall next week, that would also be a U.S. record for most named storm landfalls before the end of August and the earliest ever formation of storms starting with an ‘L’ and an ‘M.’
Damage caused by tropical storms and hurricanes are covered under different insurance policies, according to the Triple-I.
Property damage to a home, a renter’s possessions, and a business – resulting from a flood – is generally covered under FEMA National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies, if the homeowner, renter or business has purchased one. Several private insurers also offer flood insurance.
Private-passenger vehicles damaged or destroyed by either wind or flooding are covered under the optional comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy. Nearly 80 percent of U.S. drivers choose to purchase comprehensive coverage.
Through its Resilience Accelerator and the organization’s other educational materials, the Triple-I offers the following preparedness tips for all residents in the path of these two systems:
Catastrophes: Insurance Issues
Hurricane Season Insurance Checklist
How to Prepare for Hurricane Season
Hurricane Season Insurance Guide
Hurricanes and Windstorm Deductibles
Understanding Your Insurance Deductible
Preparing an Effective Evacuation Plan
Brochure: Settling Insurance Claims After A Disaster
Spotlight on Flood Insurance
Facts About Flood Insurance
Recovering from a Flood