High chance of an “above normal” 2021 hurricane season
There is a high chance that the 2021 hurricane season will be “above normal” in terms of its level of storm activity, therefore Sagicor General Insurance Inc (SGI) is encouraging its clients and the general public to put measures in place to ensure they are adequately prepared to manage the uncertainties and unpredictability of the six-month long season.
According to the latest update by Tropical Storm Risk (TSR), it is predicted that there is a 59% chance of an above-normal season, a 28% chance of a near-normal one, and a 13% chance of below-normal activity between June 1st and November 30th.
This translates to a season with activity that is predicted to be 30 to 35% above the long-term norm (that being the average activity over the last 71 years) and slightly above the 2011-2020 average levels of activity. In terms of the number of storms forecast, TSR’s prediction is for the development of 18 named storms and 9 hurricanes, with 4 hurricanes expected to be category 3 or higher.
SGI’s Vice President – Insurance Operations, Mark Prescott, spoke to the fact that storm activity has already begun, citing the development of Subtropical Storm Ana in late May, which is an unusual occurrence given that storms do not typically form in the Atlantic during the month of May.
“This is evidence of the unpredictable nature of storms and the unpredictability of the hurricane season in general. Examples such as this, the volcanic eruption and resulting ashfall earlier this year, along with the ongoing COVID-19 experience, are reminders of the unpredictability and uncertainties of life, which is why we always need to be prepared”, said Prescott.
He therefore encouraged Barbadians to follow the many pieces of advice relative to hurricane preparedness, in an effort to limit the amount of damage that could be potentially caused by a passing tropical wave, storm, hurricane, all of which could result in flooding.
“Checking roofs, windows, doors and the walls of your property for and repairing any cracks or weak areas is the best course of action”, he stated. “If indeed your home is damaged by a storm, we will be there to provide the financial and emotional support our clients need to get things back in order, however, by reducing the potential for damage through repairing or reinforcing key areas, any discomfort to you and your family can be significantly minimized.”
Prescott also made the point that in checking around their home for vulnerabilities, individuals should also clear any debris and remove or store any loose objects that could become potential missiles during a storm. “Clearing yards and trimming trees not only reduces any threats to your property, but also to that of your neighbours”, he added.
The long-time insurance executive also encouraged all property owners and renters to make a detailed list of their possessions and valuables and seriously consider taking out a contents insurance package to cover any potential damage or destruction that could be caused by a storm, hurricane or seasonal flooding.
For more information and to get the best coverage for those valued possessions, Prescott urged individuals to reach out to the company’s team of knowledgeable representatives using one of many options, such as dialling 431-2800, sending a WhatsApp message to 467-7243, emailing [email protected] , or connecting via SGI’s Instagram and Facebook pages.
Mark Prescott, Vice President – Insurance Operations with Sagicor General Insurance Inc.