Guide to Florida Hurricanes

Welcome to the middle of the Florida hurricane season. If you live in Florida or own property in the state, it’s important to understand how you may be impacted by storm activity during the 6-month hurricane season lasting from June through November each year.

Estimates peg this year’s hurricane activity at an estimated 12-17 named storms and extreme weather of recent years tells another story. Even if we’re facing fewer storms in 2023 (compared to more active seasons), they will likely pack a powerful punch.

We provide some important hurricane basics below, as well as in the Edison Insurance Company comprehensive 2023 hurricane guide.

2023 Hurricane Names

Want to know what’s coming? Here are the designated storm names for 2023, as selected by the World Meteorological Organization:

Arlene - Bret - Cindy - Don - Emily - Franklin - Gert - Harold - Idalia - Jose - Katia - Lee - Margot - Nigel - Ophelia - Philippe - Rina - Sean - Tammy - Vince - Whitney

‘Hurricane Alley’

Florida exists in what is sometimes referred to as “hurricane alley,” a region of warm water stretching between the west coast of northern Africa to Florida, the Caribbean islands, and the east coast of Central America. Texas, Louisiana, the Carolinas, and a handful of other southeastern states are also impacted by hurricanes and tropical storms – but none as much as Florida. Due to Florida’s geographic location, long coastline, flat terrain, and low elevation (near or just above sea level), the state is impacted by hurricanes more often than any other location – so much so, Florida is known as the hurricane capital of the world.

Terms You Should Know

Did you know “tropical cyclone” is a generic term used to cover, broadly, all types of storm activity in the tropics, including tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes? In each of these cases, the storm system rotates – counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere – around an area of low pressure.

Here are some additional terms you should know:  

Tropical Depression: A tropical cyclone with less than 38 mph winds

Tropical Storm: A tropical cyclone with 39-73 mph winds

Hurricane: A tropical cyclone with a minimum of 74 mph winds

  • Category1: 74-95 mph winds
  • Category2: 96-110 mph winds
  • Category3: 111-129 mph winds
  • Category4: 130-156 mph winds
  • Category5: greater than 157 mph winds

Hurricane Watch: Hurricane conditions are possible, with effects to begin within 48 hours. It’s time to brace for potential impact (by putting up or closing storm shutters) or to evacuate, if you must.

Hurricane Warning: Hurricane conditions are expected, with effects to begin within 36 hours. Go over all needed preparations, completing anything not yet done.

Category 3, 4, and 5 hurricanes are referred to as major hurricanes, where devastating or catastrophic damage is expected to occur.

Why Hurricanes Are Dangerous

Let’s start with high winds. Hurricane-force winds can tear roofs off houses, as well as lift and destroy less secure structures, such as mobile homes, automobiles, and other large objects. Even small items, such as a road sign, spare lumber, or even a single loose brick can become deadly airborne missiles in high winds.

Frequent companions of a Florida hurricane or tropical storm include tornadoes, storm surges, and flooding. Tornadoes have the power to uproot trees and destroy buildings and can form in minutes, usually in the thunderstorm bands of a hurricane or tropical storm. A storm surge tends to occur as storms come ashore, water is pushed onto dry land, causing extensive flooding in coastal areas. Flooding can also occur anywhere along the path of a hurricane due to the deluge of rain a storm brings with it – and inadequate or faulty drainage will only exacerbate the problem.

Your Hurricane Prep Checklist

If you have a home in Florida, you’ll want to be sure it is as resistant to hurricanes as possible. This includes installing storm shutters and securing loose objects outside. You may even be eligible for a discount on your insurance premium for wind mitigation features, such as the shape of your roof and how it’s secured to the rest of the home. When you’ve done all you can to secure your home, protect it by having the appropriate amount of home, condo, and flood insurance in place.

Being prepared ahead of a Florida hurricane is also important. You should have a well-stocked emergency supply kit, ready to go in case you need to evacuate. It’s also crucial to have a plan and know several different evacuation routes, as well as nearby shelters, just in case. Every hurricane is unique, and having been safe in the past doesn’t ensure you will be safe in future storms.

Protect Your Home Against a Florida Hurricane

At Edison Insurance Company, keeping you, your family, and your home safe and protected is our No. 1 priority. Talk to your Edison Insurance agent about whether you’re sufficiently prepared for the 2023 hurricane season. And, if you’re not currently insured with us, getting the protection you need has never been easier: start by getting a quote now.

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