Natural disasters can theoretically occur at any time. There are, however, specific times of year when they may be more prevalent than others. In addition to learning as much as possible about how to prepare for a natural disaster, it’s also essential to create an evacuation plan. Since these types of situations are unpredictable, learning more about available resources is also vital.
The Most Common Types of Natural Disasters
The most prevalent type of natural disaster that occurs within the United States is related to some type of flooding. While wildfires are the second most common natural disaster, 90% of the Presidential declarations for disaster-related situations are due to flooding. Flash floods in particular are incredibly dangerous as when these occur, walls of water can range from ten to 20 feet in height.
Recent Tornado Damage
Tornadoes are also a major cause of concern for communities throughout the country. In late February, for example, tornadoes damaged or destroyed a large number of homes and businesses in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. Harrisburg, Ill., in particular, experienced the most loss, with over 225 homes and businesses being damaged or destroyed. The total cost of these damages was estimated at $475 million.
The importance of having specific types of insurance coverage cannot be stressed enough. Even though this may be the case, insurance premiums may be too expensive for some individuals. In 2012, for example, insurance premiums rose 5.6 percent, then another six percent in 2013, as reported in a February 2016 study that was conducted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Furthermore, ORC International conducted a 2015 Insurance Information Institute poll that revealed 95% of homeowners had coverage while just 40% of renters did.
Homeowners Insurance Claims and Flood Damage
While homeowners insurance claims are filed for different types and levels of damage, roughly 20% of these pertain to water damage. Floodsmart indicated that when a 2,000 square foot home sustains 12 inches of water damage, the cost to address this may exceed $50,000. This is due to several factors which may include emergency construction services, leak repairs, and mold removal.
Natural Disasters and Insured Losses
When natural disasters occur, many home and business owners experience substantial insured losses. Munich Re reported that in 2014, these amounted to $15.3 billion and $16.1 billion the following year. During 2015, insured losses were attributed to these weather conditions and patterns:
- Severe thunderstorms: $9.6 billion
- Winter storms and cold waves: $3.5 billion
- Wildfires, heat waves, and drought: $1.9 billion
What To Do When You’re in a Catastrophic Situation
If you’ve been in a catastrophic situation, your insurance company may have a 24-hour emergency hotline set up. While it does depend on the severity of the situation, the best course of action is usually to leave the area as soon as possible so that you and your family are safe. In many instances, local authorities will have already called for evacuation or otherwise begun evacuation and rescue procedures.
After a severe weather storm or another type of natural disaster, there are a variety of emergency construction services that you may need. These include emergency shoring, mold removal, water leak repair, and addressing any interior water damage. If your home or business is still intact, and you’re not sure if you can safely return, an emergency construction services contractor will be able to inform you if this is the case.