The 2020 hurricane season is officially the most active in record. With the formation of sub-tropical storm Theta currently out at sea, the storm count now stands at 29. This shattered the previous record of 28 storms that was set in 2005. However, while Theta churns in the heart of the Atlantic, all eyes on Florida are fixed on its predecessor, Tropical Storm Eta. That storm is expected to make landfall Wednesday and Thursday across Florida and up the east coast.
History of Tropical Storm Eta
Tropical Storm Eta has had an unusual progression compared to most storms. Since its origination in the Caribbean Sea on October 31, it has wreaked havoc in Honduras, Guatemala, and Cuba before turning towards the US coast. There were over 100 fatalities in Honduras and Guatemala combined, and a damage estimate in Honduras of at least $3 billion. As the storm moved toward the mainland United States, its path became mess predictable. It struck the outer Florida Keys starting on November 7, causing power outages and storm surge damage in the Miami Metro area and surrounding counties. The storm then weaked and turned northwest into the Gulf of Mexico before strengthening into a Category 1 hurricane and moving back east toward Tampa, FL. However, as of this writing, the storm has weakened again to a tropical storm that is expected to move inland to Tampa and back up the east coast throughout the end of the week.
Dangers of Tropical Storms
The difference between a tropical storm and a hurricane had to do with wind speed. Tropical storms have maximum sustained wind speeds of 39 – 74 MPH. Anything over that is considered a hurricane and is then broken down by Category, which is also based on wind speed. The biggest risk to life and property with tropical storms and lower category hurricanes is the storm surge.
A storm surge is the abnormal rise in water level caused by a storm. This rise is above and beyond the predictable tides and doesn’t include waves. Combined with heavy rain and flash flooding, storm surges contribute to flooding, water damage, and death by drowning.
Insurance Adjusters Brace for Impact
When storms like Eta hit, insurance adjusters are among the first to arrive in the aftermath. Once the immediate danger has passed and first responders have tended to physical injuries, insurance adjusters help storm victims assess the damage to their homes, businesses, and vehicles and start the claim process. The sooner they can get help from qualified adjusters, the sooner they can start rebuilding their lives.
In the wake of major disasters like hurricanes and tropical storms, many insurance adjusters travel from other parts of the country to assist with insurance needs. Regardless of their home base, all insurance adjusters have to be registered in the state of Florida to adjust claims there. Residents of Florida can simply obtain a license in their home state, but out of state adjusters must be licensed in their state of residence and obtain an out-of-state license to adjust in Florida.
Take Action with 2021 Training
If we have learned anything from this busy storm season, it is that insurance adjusters will only become more important in the coming years. If weather trends continue, we can only expect more busy seasons like this one in the near future. That makes this a great time to start your career as an insurance adjuster. You can take your first steps right away with 2021 Training. Our Smart Start Pack of courses will teach you everything you need to know to pass your exam and get started in the field. Click here to start today.