5/15/2014 - Report reveals fickle nature of seasonal weather
New details are coming to light regarding just how impactful this past winter was for many Americans, particularly in the month of February. While the season was known for being particularly cold and snowy, there were instances where spring-like weather systems passed through, serving as an ever present reminder that homeowners and businesses need to be prepared for what the next few months have in store.
The weather outbreak, manifested by damaging winds, hail and tornado touchdowns, affected the eastern half of the United States, according to reinsurance firm Aon Benfield, which recently released its February forecasting catastrophe report. According to the Storm Prediction Center, there were as many as 500 twister sightings all told.
Adam Podlaha, head of Impact Forecasting for Aon Benfield, noted that the second month of the year was a harsh one for climatic events worldwide.
"February was characterized by a wide spectrum of events, ranging from well-modelled windstorms affecting vast areas of Europe at the end of its winter season, to largely non-modelled floods affecting parts of South America and Asia," said Podlaha.
He added that volcanic activity in Indonesia served as an eye-opener for just how many risks there are around the globe at any given time.
While erupting volcanoes may not be a major concern here in the U.S., flooding certainly is, as it remains the No. 1 natural disaster in the country, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Homeowners who don't have a flood insurance policy in place may want to consider one, even if they're in an area where flooding isn't common. FEMA statistics show that roughly 25% of claim payouts for the National Flood Insurance Program go to property owners in non high-risk flood areas.