Be Prepared- Severe Weather Risks!
North America has been particularly hard hit by weather catastrophes in recent years: Hurricane Katrina, tornadoes, floods, wildfires, searing heat and drought. The intensities of certain weather events in North America are among the highest in the world, and the risks associated with them are changing faster than anywhere else. The most dangerous types of storms are hurricanes and severe thunderstorms, which produce tornadoes and hail.
Hurricane Preparations & Hurricane Risks
The first step to understanding your risk is to understand what a hurricane is. A hurricane is a tropical storm with winds that have reached a constant speed of 74 miles per hour. Hurricane winds blow in a large spiral around a relatively calm center known as the “eye.” The “eye” is generally 20 to 30 miles wide, and the storm may extend outward over 400 miles. As a hurricane nears land, it can bring torrential rains, high winds and storm surges.
When hurricanes roar ashore they pose a threat to people and property. Depending on the storm, these threats can cause major damage to property or loss of life.
Fortunately, there are measures that can be taken by individuals and communities before a hurricane strikes to reduce vulnerability to hurricane hazards. A well-thought-out plan of action for you and your family can go a long way toward reducing potential suffering from any type of disaster that could strike. There are many hurricane property protection measures that can be installed by a Certified NIRC Contractor to reduce the effects of hurricanes, such as storm shutters covering exposed glass and hurricane roof straps. Also, taking measures to be prepared for severe flooding can help to reduce the damage and costs associated with hurricane damage.
Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1st and ends November 30th. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15th and also ends November 30th.To learn more about Hurricane prediction and alert systems, visit the National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center.
The three most common emergency warnings you will hear regarding tornadoes are:
Tropical Storm Watch – An announcement that tropical-storm conditions are possible within the specified area.
Hurricane Watch –An announcement that hurricane conditions are possible within the specified area.Because outside preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, watches are issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.
- Action: During a watch, prepare your home and review your plan for evacuation in case a Hurricane or Tropical Storm Warning is issued. Listen closely to instructions from local officials.
Tropical Storm Warning –An announcement that tropical-storm conditions are expected within the specified area.
Hurricane Warning –An announcement that hurricane conditions are expected within the specified area. Because outside preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, warnings are issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.
- Action: During a warning, complete storm preparations and immediately leave the threatened area if directed by local officials.
Extreme Wind Warning –Extreme sustained winds of a major hurricane (115 mph or greater), usually associated with the eyewall, are expected to begin within an hour.
- Action: Take immediate shelter in the interior portion of a well-built structure.
Tornado Preparations & Tornado Risks
Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds. “Tornado Alley” is an area of the heartland of the United States known for its tornado activity. Although the exact extent of Tornado Alley can be debated, most scientists agree that Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas are well known for tornado risk and make up a large portion of Tornado Alley. What most people may not be aware of is the amount of tornadic activity outside of Tornado Alley. FEMA lists eight additional states that are subject to tornadoes including North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms account for more than 50% of all insured losses in the U.S. each year. For more information about tornadoes in your area, you can use the following interactive map at The Weather Channel’s online site.
The three most common emergency warnings you will hear regarding tornadoes are:
Tornado Watch – Issued when weather conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms that are capable of producing tornadoes. A tornado watch must not be confused with a tornado warning. In most cases, the potential exists for large hail and/or damaging winds in addition to tornadoes.
Tornado Warning – An alert issued by weather services to warn that severe thunderstorms with tornadoes are possible. It can be issued after a tornado or funnel cloud has been spotted by the public, storm chasers, emergency management or law enforcement, or more commonly if there are radar indications of tornado formation. When this happens, the tornado sirens may sound in that area if any sirens are present, informing people that a tornado has been sighted or is forming nearby. The issuance of a tornado warning indicates that residents should take immediate safety precautions. It is a higher level of alert than a tornado watch, but (in the United States) it can be surpassed by an even higher alert known as a tornado emergency.
Tornado Emergency – An enhanced version of the tornado warning used by the National Weather Service (NWS), during significant tornado occurrences in highly populated areas. Although it is not a new warning type from the NWS, issued instead within a severe weather statement (or in rare cases, in the initial tornado warning), a tornado emergency generally means that significant, widespread damage is expected to occur and a high likelihood of numerous fatalities is expected with a large, strong to violent tornado.
Hail Storm Risks
Hail Storms can occur in almost any region of the world at any time of year. However, the most severe events typically occur in late spring and early summer in regions affected by severe thunderstorms.
Thunderbolts and lightning are very, very frightening on their own, but add fierce winds, heavy rains and golf-ball sized hail stones smashing into things, and there are many ways a storm can cause hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of property damage and cause serious injuries, even death.
After the storm passes, in order to successfully file a insurance claim for hail damage, it is important that you follow several key steps. First, be sure to note the time and date of the storm, as your insurance agent will be able to fact-check this and use it to verify your claim. You’ll want to assess the damages to your property. Take pictures of any damages that you see to to provide to your contractor and insurance adjuster. Take pictures of the hail and put a coin beside the hail stone to give a representation of the size hail that fell at your property. If you are at the property use your phone or another recording device and record the storm as it happens to document the storm affected your property and the intensity of the storm.
If your windows have been broken by high winds or wind-driven hail, you’ll want to contact a Certified NIRC Contractor to come to your property and do a proper board, at which time they will inspect your roofing to ensure no damage has been done. If there are damages they will tarp your roof to stop any water from leaking onto the property. It is important to remember that under your insurance policy, you have a responsibility to perform emergency services to prevent further damages to the property.
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"We focus on providing our customers with only the best quality work and creating long-lasting, trusting relationships with our clients. It is an honor that our hard work is recognized by the NIRC, a leading advocacy organization dedicated to improving the industry standard nationwide. We’re excited to grow with the vetted NIRC member network."
"Operational excellence is our mission in every project we undertake, and we pride ourselves on providing exceptional customer service to property owners. We’re honored to be an esteemed member of the National Insurance Restoration Council."
We specialize in helping our customers through the process of dealing with insurance companies, and the NIRC is a highly esteemed accreditation to have. The NIRC is a major advocate for improved legislation. People make jokes all the time about ‘keeping a roof over your head,’ but for our licensed, professional team of roofing experts, it's our promise to our valued clients. We keep up to date on zoning laws, building permit requirements and homeowners association guidelines, so property owners can be sure to get the job done right the first time on time and within budget.
We are very proud to become a Platinum Preferred Contractor with the NIRC. Working in the restoration industry, we are committed to providing our customers with exceptional work. It is an honor to be recognized by the NIRC, a leader in industry reform that sets the bar for everyone.
We are committed to setting high standards in the relatively new insurance restoration industry in Hawaii. Many property owners in Hawaii have many questions on how to handle the insurance claims process. We are dedicated to helping our clients deal with their restoration project, every step of the way. We’re excited to be a member of the NIRC and help educate more and more people with their accreditation and consumer advocacy.
Joining the National Insurance Restoration Council and obtaining this prestigious membership is a great opportunity for our company. Over the years, we’ve been featured in the Inc 500 list and numerous niche construction publications. We are very proud of our workmanship and customer satisfaction.
We’re proud to be a certified member of the NIRC. We carry numerous prestigious certifications and strive to remain ahead of the curve in the insurance restoration industry to better serve our customers.
The NIRC is a solid consumer advocacy organization that protects property owners and the construction companies. The NIRC definitely raises the bar for everyone. We’re excited to be on board.
We’re excited to be a certified member of the NIRC. This level of organization is very needed in our industry. It ultimately protects everyone, and most importantly, helps property owners get back on their feet quickly with the right contractor.
We are honored to be a member of the NIRC, it really raises the standard in our industry.
As a family owned business that has obtained most of our business via word-of-mouth, we are proud of our reputation and our high ethical standards. We’re excited to be a certified member of the NIRC.
I’m proud to become a member of the NIRC Advisory Board. This organization is paving the way in industry reform.
The National Insurance Restoration Council is a solid organization with a great reputation. It is increasingly important to screen qualified contractors to help reduce the risk in an inherently risky industry such as construction.
As one of the industry’s leading minds, Radcliff paves the way in leading reform and raising the bar in the industry
We’re proud to join the NIRC and be part of a leading organization that vets contractors from all over the industry that have integrity and a high standard of ethics and integrity. We are aligned with the same principles established by the NIRC
The NIRC is a leading organization that protects both property owners and contractors. We are honored to become accredited with the NIRC, and continue to serve our community with marked professionalism.