Live in the east or the southern regions of the United States long enough and you’ll experience a tropical depression, tropical storm, or a hurricane. These destructive forces of nature deliver multiple weather hazards including heavy rains, tornadoes, violent winds, and storm surges. Texas alone experienced $125 billion worth of damage in 2017 when Hurricane Harvey, a category four hurricane, ravaged the state’s Gulf Coast residents.
But as harrowing as hurricanes can be for humanity, it’s ironic that we need them to maintain life as we know it. Hurricanes are powerful forces of nature but they are nature. Working in harmony with the natural order of things despite the chaos that they bring. Homeowners don’t have to love hurricanes but protecting against them and understanding how they help the Earth can keep you prepared for these incredible events.
How Hurricanes Form
Although some years it may feel like hurricanes are endless, it takes the right conditions to form a hurricane:
- A warm body of water that is at least 82° F
- A spinning area of low pressure caused by moist, humid air flowing upward over a warm body of water
- A reduction in wind shear cutting through the storm
This is what makes the ocean a great place for hurricanes to form and grow. It’s also why hurricane season is during the Northern Hemisphere’s warmer months. As the ocean waters rise in temperature, these conditions allow hurricanes to form and can fuel them further to grow.
Why the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Coasts are Vulnerable
Have you ever wondered why hurricanes seem to hit states such as Florida, the Carolinas, and of course, Texas but California is rarely hit by storms? There are a couple of reasons for this:
- Storms forming in the Northern Hemisphere almost always travel west in some way or form.
- The temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico are perfect for creating storms, along with the other conditions we previously discussed. The Pacific Ocean’s waters are much cooler which prevents storms from forming.
Spending any time in Houston in mid-August or rushing to escape the heat on a summer day in Corpus Christi is enough to realize that these conditions don’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon. The Lone Star State is diverse, but near the Gulf of Mexico, it is a hot, humid terrain that is the unfortunate perfect target for storms coming from the east.
Why Do We Need Hurricanes? They Help the Environment
Now that we understand how they form and why the states along the Gulf Coast are susceptible to hurricanes and other storms, it’s important to dive into what hurricanes do for us and the Earth. Sure, they can be destructive, however, hurricanes help the environment by:
- Helping areas avoid droughts thanks to their massive rainfall.
- Transport heat from the tropics and into the poles and even outer space to balance the temperature of the Earth.
- Hurricanes help oxidize waterways and displace red tide and bacteria.
- Plants are restored by winds that can tear down older plant life all while spreading seeds and spores to refresh nature with new life.
There are plenty of reasons to dislike hurricanes, but in the end, they are natural events that help the Earth in a variety of ways. Because there are no scientific methods to stop hurricanes and because they help us in the long run, humans have to learn how to co-exist with these incredible forces of nature. Preparation is key and protecting yourself, those you love, your home, and your possessions should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind before hurricane season.
How to Prepare for a Hurricane
Hurricane season for Texas begins June 1st every year, however, due to the uptick in tropical activity, many scientists suggest monitoring things beginning in mid-May just to be safe. This is especially true when it comes to purchasing insurance. If your home insurance policy doesn’t have windstorm coverage, it’s something you need to look into immediately because it’s a must-have for hurricane season. Windstorm policies will stop being written for homes once there is a named storm in the Gulf of Mexico. Flood coverage, a necessity to stay protected against flooding as your homeowners insurance will not cover these events, can take up to 30 days to go into effect. This means the time to prepare is now not later. Learn more on some great preparation tips for hurricanes to protect yourself and your home this hurricane season:
- Be sure that your home has the right insurance policies to protect against damage from wind and water.
- Have a plan. This includes a plan for evacuating, riding out a storm (if it is safe to do so), and gathering supplies. You can learn more on how to stay prepared from our previous article and don’t forget to download our checklists so that you don’t miss a thing.
- Make sure that you gather supplies early, often, but without hoarding including non-perishable food, fuel, communication devices/accessories, tools and materials to secure your home, etc.
- Creating a home inventory list can help you in more situations than just a hurricane, but in the aftermath of a storm, it is best to be prepared for the worst even if you are hoping for the best. Check out our comprehensive guide to creating a home inventory list here!
Staying protected against hurricanes may not fix everything, but it can help homeowners manage the aftermath of such storms and mitigate the damage during and after storms. TGS Insurance is proud to serve our community through helpful tips that keep you protected during natural disasters. For the best advice, however, always refer to your local and national authorities in science and government and be sure to follow their orders while using our help as a guideline.
Hurricane Insurance That Protects While You Save
Protecting your home and your finances is an important step for any homeowner. The last thing you want is to have to face a hurricane with the uncertainty that your home is protected. Your homeowners insurance protects you against many perils but hurricanes provide unique perils that may leave your home vulnerable. Hurricane insurance is a great way to close the gaps in your coverage that exist during these weather events. This is why it’s important to combine both flood insurance and windstorm coverage to pick up where homeowners insurance leaves off.
TGS Insurance doesn’t believe that great coverage should mean you have to spend an arm and a leg. We work with homeowners to find the best possible rates for their homeowners, flood insurance, and windstorm coverage. We’ll even add windstorm coverage with a 2% deduction to your home insurance policy because we believe all of our clients should be prepared no matter what comes their way.
Your flood coverage helps protect against flood events that occur outside of your home while a windstorm can protect you against the extreme wind brought on by hurricanes and other serious windstorms. Through comparison shopping among 35+ top-rated insurance brands, we can find the best coverage for your needs at the lowest price on the market. This includes comparing government-issued policies from TWIA and FEMA to ensure that you are receiving an unbeatable rate.
At the end of the day, you’re looking for the best protection against powerful storms for your home at the best price possible, that is what we provide at TGS Insurance. Comparing your rates among a variety of insurance brands can be time-consuming and frustrating for the average consumer, but we do all of the heavy lifting for you including enrollment, setting up your payment, and all of the annoying paperwork- we’re with you from start to finish throughout the entire process! Contact us today and stay protected against hurricanes for less with TGS Insurance!