4.2m homes at risk from severe storms

by Diana Aqra03 Jun 2013

Approximately 4.2m homes are at risk of storm damage on the Northeast and Gulf coasts, as punishing storms continue to buffet the Eastern United States.

The weekend has seen more damage from violent storms in Oklahoma, across New England and in South Carolina, and a new report has indicated that millions of homes could be at risk. CoreLogic’s 2013 Storm Surge Report showed that a phenomenon called storm-surge, where water and wind accumulate in cyclonic storms, are putting millions of homes at risk of flooding and damage.

Florida ranked number one of all states, comprising approximately 1.5m properties at risk, but recent disasters like Hurricane Sandy has proven Florida is not the only place with major risks, the report said.

Collectively, states on the East coast, including New York, New Jersey, Virginia North and South Carolina made up about 1.4m of homes at risk of storm-surge.  States on the Gulf coast, including Louisiana, Texas and Georgia made up another 900,000 homes at risk, the report showed.

What’s more, homeowners are less likely to have flood insurance in areas that do not normally experience disasters. It is not likely for homeowners to consider flood insurance especially if the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hasn’t designated it a special hazard zone.

In areas like New York City, for example, approximately 65% of properties located in a storm-surge area are not designated as a special hazard area, which probably means that those homeowners did not include flood coverage in their homeowner’s policy.

Similarly, almost 90% of homes in Virginia Beach are located in a storm-surge zone, but not in FEMA special hazard designated areas, the report showed.

Nine of the 10 top metro areas had significant percentage (at least 40%) of homes that are located in at-risk area, but not covered by FEMA special hazard designation, the report showed.

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