NOVATO, Calif. — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports a 70 percent chance that this year’s hurricane season will produce three to six hurricanes. Two of them are predicted to be major hurricanes with winds of 111 mph or higher. Fireman’s Fund Risk Service Consultants urges consumers to be prepared.

The main driver of this year’s forecast is the anticipated development of El Niño this summer. While NOAA forecast a slow season in 1992, Hurricane Andrew became one of the strongest to ever hit the United States. Andrew struck South Florida in August 1992 causing an estimated $26 billion in damage, making it one of the most expensive natural disasters in U.S. history.

“Hurricane Andrew and more recently Superstorm Sandy showed us it only takes one storm to cause major damage to homes and businesses,” said Darren Colley, risk services senior consultant at Fireman’s Fund. “Hurricanes are one of the costliest of natural disasters, but there are several important ways to minimize potential damage to homes.”

The company noted that it is crucial that homeowners take the time now to review emergency plans, stock up on supplies, secure buildings, and review insurance coverage before Aug. 1 — the start of the hurricane season’s most active period.

Fireman’s Fund risk service consultants make available a network of service providers for such things as shutter systems, wind resistant building products, emergency evacuation and storage for protection of valuables, generator back-up, and planning for family evacuations.

“Planning ahead is the best prevention tool to save lives and property in a hurricane situation,” said Colley.

For more information about hurricane preparedness, click here.

Publication date: 6/16/2014

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