A hurricane season forecasted to be busier than recent years has so far turned out to be another quiet season.
Bryan Koon with the Florida Division of Emergency Management says, “Thus far we’ve not had a land-falling hurricane and that’s good news for the State of Florida.”
There is still more than a month to go until the end of hurricane season but several years with few tropical events has allowed the state-created catastrophe fund to build the largest reserve ever in its 20 life. The fund provides cash to insurers when there are big losses.
Jack Nicholson with the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund “This is probably the best year we’ve ever had in terms of liquidity and our cash balance.”
The fund can be looked at as a ‘rainy day’ account. Right now the account has around 10-billion dollars available although if more is needed it could borrow several billion more. But, one big storm could possibly deplete the fund.
Nicholson says, “Two back to back storms, very large storms could cause us problems. So they’re very events. But we take that seriously.”
This season just three tropical systems affected the state. If this season matches history, the likeliness of a strong tropical system to hit Florida this late in the season is low. Although Hurricane Kate hit the Florida Panhandle the week before Thanksgiving in 1985 prompting hurricane experts to remind people to stay prepared.
Koon says, “Things you do to prepare for hurricane season are the things you prepare for hazards in the State of Florida; for flooding, for wildfire, for tornadoes, and other severe weather.”
Hurricane or not, hurricane experts and those overseeing the cat fund say they’ll be prepared for the next big storm.
Hurricane Wilma was the last time a hurricane had a direct impact on the state in October 2005.