A collective sigh of relief was heard throughout Louisiana as the hurricane season officially ended. Compared to recent years, the 2010 hurricane season passed quietly in Louisiana. Despite that reality, you may be surprised to learn that it was the third most active hurricane season on record since official data began being collected in 1851. This year there were 19 named storms – 12 hurricanes, seven tropical storms and seven tropical depressions. The only other years with more storm activity were 1933 and 2005. Making this busy hurricane season even more remarkable is not one hurricane made landfall in the United States. And, there were only two tropical storms, Bonnie and Hermine, that came onto U.S. soil.
So, what does all of this mean? It’s simple. We got lucky!
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center had predicted a very active season and they were right. Five of the 12 hurricanes were category 3 to 5 storms producing winds greater than 111 mph. We all know the damage these types of winds can produce.
We are only five years removed from the worst natural disaster in U.S. history – Hurricane Katrina and the worst hurricane season on record – the 2005 hurricane season. We need to remember the lessons learned from 2005 and continue to prepare each and every year for hurricane season.
There are many ways homeowners and business owners in Louisiana can prepare for hurricane season. I encourage you to visit the www.gulfstateinsurancecenter.org to learn more about steps you can take to protect yourself and your property for next hurricane season. Now is the time to perform home safety improvements, take inventory of personal items and business records, reevaluate homeowners, business and flood coverage to make sure all are adequate in coverage and research storm mitigation incentives, including those offered by the Louisiana Department of Insurance.
We should be grateful that 2010 was a good year and begin preparing for 2011. Unfortunately, we are only six months away from the start of another hurricane season.