The National Hurricane Center is tracking the first possible tropical storm of the season this weekend. Specialists are keeping a keen eye on a possible depression or storm that is set to form just above the Bahamas. If this does develop into an actual storm, it will kick off the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season and will be christened as “Arthur” to begin the alphabetical progression of storm names. This would be about a two-week early start on the season, but that is not unusual. Since 2015, hurricane season has started prematurely with at least one storm happening ahead of schedule each year. It seems like a pandemic can delay the reopening of businesses, sports, and all-access traveling, but it has no say in nature’s timing.

What Should Florida Expect from This Storm?

Right now, the area that is being tracked is referred to as “Invest 90L” because, until it becomes an actual storm, it is considered a point of investigation or an “invest”. The invest first gathered attention of officials when a low area of pressure started forming in the space between the Florida Keys and Cuba. Recently, showers and thunderstorms have been detected, and more rain is expected. The Weather Channel reports over four inches of rain in the Middle Keys, over five inches of rain in Marathon, Florida, and gusts of wind over 45 mph in the Lower Keys. With all this in effect, there is a very good chance of a storm or depression developing by tonight.

As for Florida, we should simply expect rain and high surf along the Southeast coast. If the storm moves northeast, it is expected to take on more subtropical characteristics, but if it moves more west, then it is expected to be tropical. The Weather Channel explains that, if it does come closer our way and turns into a subtropical storm, it will include “no cold or warm fronts, a broad wind field, and at least some thunderstorms removed some distance from the center.” Hurricane hunters are scheduled to gather this morning to analyze the most recent movement so that authorities can properly advise areas.

In the meantime, Florida can expect heavy rain, winds, and dangerous rip currents. Beachgoers should be weary of high surf along Florida’s eastern coast. Coastal flooding is possible at high tide in certain areas. Localized flooding is expected for some areas, but the heaviest of the rain is expected to fall on the Bahamas later today.

What Are Some Tips for Hurricane Safety?

Florida has seen its share of hurricane damage over the years, and many of our citizens can share stories of the personal impacts caused by these storms. To avoid adding to those stories, you should take a moment to prepare your home and your family for this hurricane season. Even if we do not get hit in a serious way this weekend, this invest is a bold reminder that nature can strike at any moment without warning.

  • Step 1: Gather At Least 7 Days of Supplies
    • This includes, but is not limited to, non-perishable foods, bottles of water, assorted batteries, and medicine.
    • Click here for a disaster supply checklist.
  • Step 2: Create an Emergency Plan
    • Visit FloridaDisaster.Org to create a plan today for your family. This helpful website even walks you through plans fit to meet your personal needs, business needs, and special needs.

Protecting Your Roof from Damage

No matter what type of storm we get this weekend, your roof could be in danger simply from stronger than usual winds. Wind damage from a storm can be drastic enough to uproot roof tiles or shingles, causing the nails holding them down to bend at an angle. Make sure you have proper insurance to cover roof damage because damage from strong winds is very common, which means this is also a common area for insurance companies to try to bypass in covering fairly. Some companies may challenge your claim by arguing the true reason for your damage. For example, you may file a claim for roof damage after a hurricane, but the insurance company may try to argue that the hurricane was not the actual source of the problem, but that it was something else like the age of the roof or a previous incident before the storm. Another hassle many people experience is that the insurance company will only repair a portion of the roof instead of replacing it altogether. For more information on this topic from a roof damage attorney, click here.

Should I Have Insurance for Hurricane Damage?

Yes, you should have insurance to cover hurricane damage if you live in Florida. It is a good practice to make sure all of your insurance policies match the particular needs of your region. Now is a good time to double-check your insurance policies and make sure you are properly covered before an emergency strikes. Keep in mind that flood damage is not always covered by homeowners insurance.

If you are unsure of what type of coverage you have, take the time to properly read through your policy instead of assuming you are protected. Should you have to file a claim for damage, know that Florida lawmakers have been working hard this year to improve the hurricane claims process after years of delayed processing and loopholes. Not only is it a good time to obtain insurance, but it is also the time to protect yourself with a trusted lawyer. If you believe your insurance company is purposely avoiding your open claim due to hurricane damage, contact us today at Keller, Melchiorre, and Walsh.