May 23rd, 2018
Hurricane Season Begins June 1: Are You Ready?
The Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1, and that means door and window manufacturers and dealers are preparing for what could be another busy few months in coastal areas. But it might not be as hectic as initial predictions indicated.
Last week, The Weather Channel updated its forecast for the 2018 season. The network predicts 12 named storms, five hurricanes and two major hurricanes between June 1 and late November. That’s down from a forecast of 13 storms and six hurricanes that it announced in early April.
The reason? Cooler water temperatures in the Atlantic and warmer temperatures in the Pacific. Those factors historically have slowed hurricane development and intensity, the network says.
That’s potentially great news for coastal areas from Texas to New York, and it could spare a tremendous amount of life and property. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of coastal counties rose 84 percent from 1960 to 2008. AIR Worldwide, which provides catastrophe risk modeling software and consulting services, estimates that the total value of insurable property along the U.S. coast that could be affected by hurricanes is $17 trillion.
Last year was a rough one for Florida, the Gulf Coast and the Caribbean. According to Florida’s Office for Coastal Management, in 2017 hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma combined to cause $265 billion in damages in those regions. That’s a lot, though there’s solid evidence that stronger building codes in the Sunshine State, enacted after Hurricane Andrew devastated South Florida in 1992, reduced damage and saved lives.
Codes can help, but preparation is important, too. That’s why it was so surprising to learn that a recent survey shows that people aren’t taking steps to get ready for these monster storms in Florida. Despite that, sales have been strong for impact-rated products in the past year in that state, which represents about 68 percent of the total U.S. market for residential hurricane-resistant fenestration products, according to the American Architectural Manufacturers Association.
DWM will be paying close attention to hurricane season, and our upcoming June-July issue will focus on hurricane-rated products. If your company has a product that you’d like to see featured in this issue, e-mail me a photo and press release at firstname.lastname@example.org.