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Why Insurance Adjusters Should Use and Recommend SERVPRO

6/11/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Why Insurance Adjusters Should Use and Recommend SERVPRO Get your insurance client the best help available by using SERVPRO and taking advantage of trained and certified technicians.

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals understand your situation. As an agent or adjuster, you have a responsibility to keep claims costs down while still providing the best services possible for your customers.

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are uniquely qualified to help. Our results create a measurable difference, giving you many competitive advantages.

Emergency Response to Claims

Restoring property is the SERVPRO Franchise Professional's first priority. Your customer will appreciate the immediate response and you will know everything is being done to limit the damage.

Pretesting Reduces Claims Expense

Restoring property is less expensive than replacing property. Claims Professionals know the rule is, "Restore whenever possible, replace only when necessary." SERVPRO Franchise Professionals make sure pretesting is completed on every loss to determine if it can be restored.

Claims Inventory Service

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can provide an itemized loss inventory. You will receive an Excel formatted report and pictures of important items.

Electronic Claims Information

Our Claims Information Center provides fast, accurate information you need to make sound decisions, including:

  • A Complete Electronic Job File.
    • First Notice of Loss.
    • Detailed Estimate.
    • Digital Loss Photos.
    • Scanned Forms and Paperwork.
    • All delivered by email or hard copy.
  • Online Access to All Files.
    • New Assignments.
    • Pending Jobs.
    • Completed Jobs.
  • Informative Reports to Improve Results
    • Job Cost Data.
  • Performance Comparison to Industry Standard.

Superior, Time-Tested Training

Effective training is the best way to help ensure your customers receive the service they deserve. Franchises are trained to IICRC standards in Fire and Water Cleanup and Restoration. In addition, continuing education classes are available to Franchise Professionals and Insurance Clients at our state of the art IICRC Approved Training Facility

Vendor Qualification Compliance and Professionalism

If you call SERVPRO, we will use only qualified vendors to service your customer. That commitment resulted in:

  • A National Call Center to achieve prompt handling of the claim.
  • Implementation of best practices and job process programs.
  • National Accounts qualification criteria and annual compliance checks.
  • Crew and vehicle standards.
  • Insurance requirements.
  • File documentation requirements.
  • Quality assurance program.

Serving Adjusters and Their Clients

A SERVPRO Franchise Professional's job is to reassure the customer, perform quality service and to report to you quickly. We know your job is to interpret the policy and adjust the claim... and not to deal with problems from vendors! Working together we strive to save you time so you can focus on priority files while having complete control of every loss you are assigned. 24-hour emergency response, damage mitigation, loss assessment, and an electronic file are available to you within hours. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals’ documented, measured performance increases value to you and your shareholders, managers, and customers.

Hard-earned results have made SERVPRO leaders in the fire and water cleanup and restoration industry. The SERVPRO System is geared to achieve customer satisfaction and mitigation results, adding to your company’s competitive advantage.

Avoiding Hurricane Insurance Scams in 2019

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Avoiding Hurricane Insurance Scams in 2019 Scams have become more frequent with each passing year and present an additional possibility for a disaster following a hurricane.

Insurance Scams
Patronis says that a very common fraud after hurricanes is the assignment-of-benefits scam. It works like this: Unscrupulous contractors drive around hard-hit neighborhoods, looking for homes with a major roof or structural damage. The contractors approach homeowners and tell them they can get started on repairs right away, claiming they can waive insurance deductibles and offer discounted rates. Then they ask the homeowners to sign paperwork that lets them work with their insurers.

Don’t be fooled. With this scam, the fraudsters use the signature to collect insurance payments, and in many cases, they simply disappear with the money.

“These guys can be very persuasive and encouraging, and they prey on people’s vulnerabilities after storms,” Patronis says. In 2006, Patronis says, Florida saw a total of 400 lawsuits related to assignment-of-benefits scams, and in 2018 there have been nearly 30,000. And it’s not all home contractors. He warns that car damage, particularly windshield repair, is another big target for assignment-of-benefits scammers.

Patronis asks anyone affected by Hurricane Michael who believes they have been a victim of insurance fraud to call his office’s hotline at 877-693-5236 or the Florida attorney general’s office at 866-966-7226, or to file a complaint online.

Cleaning Clothing After A Fire in Orlando

6/7/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Cleaning Clothing After A Fire in Orlando Sort through clothing carefully to make sure you only attempt to wash items that are salvageable. Discard items that have been burned and have holes.

Recovering from a fire in Orlando can be a long, time-consuming process, even if there was little to any physical or structural damage. Just the smoke from fire alone can create a significant amount of damage, which can be difficult to mitigate. Clothing, furniture, and upholstery can all reek of smoke, even if they are far from the flames and in some cases can even be stained with soot. In most cases, you will likely need to hire a professional remediation company to restore furniture and upholstery, but you may be able to restore clothing on your own. Here are four steps to cleaning clothing after a fire.

1. Inspect Clothing Carefully to See What Can Be Salvaged

Some clothing may have burn holes or be stained or damaged beyond your ability to salvage it. Because clothing restoration is a time-consuming process, you want to focus on only what can be salvaged. Your fire insurance will most likely cover the cost of replacing clothing that cannot be salvaged.

2. Deodorize

Before clothing can be cleaned it will need to first be deodorized through a process called an ozone treatment. Ozone treatment is an oxidation process that cleans your clothing similar to the way rain cleans the air. Before you attempt to clean your clothes, it is extremely important to have them professionally deodorized with this unique treatment. Using ordinary fabric deodorizers will merely mask the smell temporarily, but eventually, the perfume of the deodorizer will evaporate, leaving your clothing once again reeking of smoke. The smell will also permeate any new clothing you purchase, so it is vitally important to have them professionally deodorized. In some cases, a fire restorer will use an ozone generator and in other cases, they will deodorize them in an ozone room.

3. Sort Remaining Clothing According to Type

Some types of fabric will be more difficult to get the smoke smell, soot stains or other stains out of, so you want to sort clothing by recommended care (found on the label), color (Light/ medium/ dark) and degree of soil (light/ medium/ heavy). You may end up with several small loads of clothing, but you want to keep them separate rather than combine them into larger loads. You will almost invariably have to wash each item several times, so it is more important to sort them by care label than you might with a single wash. Some clothing will need to be taken to an Orlando dry cleaning facility, but they may need to be professionally wet cleaned in spite of the dry clean only label.

4. Choose the Right Detergent

Different detergents will be more effective at removing scents, stains, soot and soil from different fabrics. The majority of clothing items will most likely be cotton, polyester, or poly/cotton blends. The effectiveness of cleaning will depend largely on the type of fabric and the type of detergent used. In tests, 100% polyester has the least likelihood of being returned to its original color and state. Pure cotton and poly/cotton blends are most effectively treated by washing in warm water anywhere from one to four times with either a liquid detergent or a low phosphate powder detergent and a liquid chlorine bleach. Because bleach will damage some fabrics and is not generally safe to use on darker clothing, it is better to use liquid detergent on darker clothing. Lighter clothing and whites will generally fair better with chlorine bleach. Powder detergent on its own is only partially effective at returning clothing to its original state. Dry cleaning is also the least effective method, so some dry-clean-only clothing may not ever return to its original condition.

Mold In Commercial Buildings and Schools

6/4/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Mold In Commercial Buildings and Schools Mold can grow unseen in hidden areas such as in the ceiling above a classroom posing a danger to students.

With each passing year, concern over indoor exposure to mold increases. The public has become increasingly aware of the potential dangers linked to mold exposure. In addition to personal properties and residences, property managers and those responsible for the maintenance of commercial buildings, hotels, and schools should be aware of hidden dangers and acquire some knowledge of mold growth to protect the health of building occupants. With some basic knowledge of the subject, even inexperienced and untrained individuals can be capable of making reasonable judgments as to whether a situation can be handled in-house or requires the help of trained professionals.

Molds Can Be Found Almost Anywhere

They can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and insulation. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed.

It is Impossible to Eliminate All Mold

 This also holds true for mold spores in the indoor environment. However, mold growth can be controlled indoors by controlling moisture indoors. Molds reproduce by making spores that usually cannot be seen without magnification. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on.

Mold Can Have Various Effects on Health

Molds can produce allergens that can trigger health issues to inhabitants. Health issues can vary between individuals. Others are known to produce potent toxins and/or irritants. Potential health concerns are an important reason to prevent mold growth and to remediate/clean up any existing indoor mold growth. Since mold requires water to grow, it is important to prevent moisture problems in buildings. Moisture problems can have many causes, including uncontrolled humidity. Some moisture problems in buildings have been linked to changes in building construction practices during the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. Some of these changes have resulted in buildings that are tightly sealed but may lack adequate ventilation, potentially leading to moisture buildup. Building materials, such as drywall, may not allow moisture to escape easily. Moisture problems may include:

  • Roof Leaks
  • Landscaping or gutters that direct water into or under the building
  • Unvented combustion appliances
  • Delayed maintenance or insufficient maintenance are also associated with moisture problems in schools and large buildings


Moisture problems in portable classrooms and other temporary structures have frequently been associated with mold problems. When mold growth occurs in buildings, adverse health problems may be reported by some building occupants, particularly those with allergies or respiratory problems. Remediators should avoid exposing themselves and others to mold-laden dust as they conduct their cleanup activities. Caution should be used to prevent mold and mold spores from being dispersed throughout the air where they can be inhaled by building occupants.

Causes of Residential Water Damage in Orlando

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Causes of Residential Water Damage in Orlando Pipe bursts and fixture leaks are a common cause of water damage in both residential and commercial properties.

Water damage is a terrible event that can have devastating consequences for your home in Orlando if it is not properly and quickly addressed. This happens as excessive amounts of water start pooling up where it does not belong. There are a number of factors that can cause excessive water build up and resulting damage. They include the following:

  • Plumbing system problems
  • Leaking or burst pipes
  • Water buildup in spaces that tend to gather water like residential attics, crawl spaces, and basements
  • Issues with your HVAC systems (heating and air conditioning)
  • Malfunctioning or defective appliances
  • Natural disasters and ugly weather created problems

Once you are aware of the likely suspects causing this damage, you can take proper steps to head off floods and leaks before they get out of hand. The faster you recognize the issue, the less work the water extraction process will require. It will save you a great amount of damage restoration work and repairs as well.

Plumbing System Problems

It is true that occasional plumbing issues will happen behind the walls. You can not detect these when they occur. Many other issues start when pipe joints or hoses are not correctly attached. By taking an occasional look under your sink, you should be able to head off most serious plumbing issues. Clogged drains are another common cause of overflowing sinks, toilets, and bathtubs leading to water damage.

Leaking or Burst Pipes

Leaking pipes (or those which burst) are all too common causes of damage by water. Toilets and drains can back up, which causes a blockage. This leads to excess pressures on the pipes that respond by either leaking or bursting altogether. Improperly functioning garbage disposals are another frequent reason for why pipes can burst. Roots growing into sewer lines are yet another. Finally, if your pipes are rusty or simply old, this can cause them to leak over time.

Water Buildup in Spaces that Tend to Gather Water

Some places that lie hidden in your home have a greater tendency to suffer from accumulating water and resulting damage. This includes basements, crawl spaces, and attics. Crawl spaces themselves are built under houses so that workers can gain access to install electrical wiring and pipes.

The problem with this is that such damp and dark crawl spaces encourage mold to thrive. This leads to structural damage. Moisture that drips down through concrete foundations leads to basement leaks. Air getting in between the house and the attic causes condensation on the roof underside. This can create mold growth and rot. You should check around your house from time to time, especially accessible pipes.

Issues with HVAC Systems

HVAC systems include heating, air conditioning, and ventilating systems. They commonly cause water-related damage. If air conditioners are not routinely serviced, then this leads to a buildup of moisture. The cooling moisture encourages mold to grow in the ducts of the air conditioning system.

Malfunctioning or Defective Appliances

Appliances age with time, causing the piping to rust and the hoses to weaken. This includes refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, and water heaters that can all be subject to deterioration. You should closely watch machines that are older. Hot water heaters and washing machines are generally the two appliances that create this kind of damage in a house.

Natural Disasters and Ugly Weather Created Problems

You can not control natural disaster borne water issues. But you might undertake all necessary preventative safety measures before they strike to mitigate their impacts on your house. Hurricanes, flash floods, and unexpected storms all lead to damaging water buildup. Clogged rain gutters, roof damage, and cracks in the foundation are common causes of water damage during bad weather.

The Water Removal Process

Fortunately, there is a process of water extraction that can remove nearly all of the water in your Orlando home. Professionals like our staff at SERVPRO Winter Park can decrease the drying time to stop mold or additional water damage from occurring. We utilize truck mounted vacuums and potent pumps in order to rapidly take away from hundreds to thousands of gallons in excess water.

Step One: Pack Out

Should your house require an extensive cleanup and restoration job, our professionals will efficiently move you out to save your belongings from suffering from additional damage.

Step Two: Emergency Water Removal

Expertly trained water removal techs will start removing water almost right away. They could utilize submersible pumps along with industrial grade wet/dry vacs. This crucial step will reduce the amount of time needed to dry the house and aid in heading off secondary water damage and mold before it begins.

Inspect Carpets and Carpet Pad

Our pros will investigate the damage to the carpet and its pads to learn if they need to be taken out to save the sub-floor. We use such detection equipment as hygrometers, moisture detectors, and meters to ascertain the moisture saturation levels. We could utilize infrared cameras to locate that hidden water lurking behind ceilings and walls. Gas powered and submersible pumps do this job of constantly pumping away high levels of water. Our portable and truck-mounted extraction units will ensure effective water removal.

Dehumidifying and Drying

It is possible that once the water has been removed, your residential walls and floors may appear dry but still feel wet when touched. This is because, unfortunately, the majority of building materials (including wood and drywall) retain large amounts of water. This will warp, break down, or swell the material and lead to mold damage as well. It is where the dehumidifying process begins.

Our Orlando experts will manipulate humidity and temperature levels to dry the remaining moisture. We utilize particular equipment ideally suited for this, such as dehumidifiers and air movers. This will get out that water that has been retained. The high-speed air movers will cause an airflow over carpets and pads, furniture, and walls to evaporate the moisture. Our Orlando experts will closely monitor the progress by utilizing moisture meters to determine the point where all materials have reached necessary drying levels.

Which Restoration Companies are Best for Commercial Jobs?

5/24/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Which Restoration Companies are Best for Commercial Jobs? Commercial water losses at places such as hotels with multiple floors and units affected requires more equipment than most small companies have.

Sure, just about any restoration company you come across will tell you they can handle your disaster. The truth is, restoration has become an increasingly competitive market and many companies will make claims that they are unable to fulfill. Although many of these companies can certainly handle a residential loss, there are many additional factors to be considered when taking on water damage, fire damage, and mold remediation on a commercial scale. If you have a large commercial property and seek the help of a restoration company, here are a few things you may want to consider before making your choice.

1. How Long Has the Company Been in Business?

Find out how long the company you are considering has been in business. Less established companies may say yes to a commercial job and become overwhelmed before it is completed. A restoration company that has been in business for years is more likely to be experienced with the process and needs of handling a commercial sized job. They will be able to provide more accurate estimates and accommodate your operations to make sure further damage to your business is kept to a minimum.

2. Business Location VS. Home Office

There are many smaller restoration companies online that appear to be larger than they actually are. This can be accredited to good marketing most of the time. Many of these companies will run their operations from a home address. Because of the huge decrease in business overhead, they are able to undercut industry standard rates and offer to complete jobs at a lower cost. As is the case with most things, cheaper does not necessarily mean better. While this can seem appealing to most consumers, the fact is that the companies that do this oftentimes are unequipped to handle jobs at a larger scale. This can also cause smaller companies to band together to complete a larger job. The major downside to this is a decrease in the quality of work you are receiving by having multiple companies with different teams, standards, and levels of communication working on the same loss.

3. Equipment and Vehicles

Commercial jobs usually mean a larger amount of manpower, equipment, and vehicles. For example, a flooded bathroom and hallway in someone’s home will not require extraction on the same level as a pipe burst in a hotel or resort that has affected multiple units and floors. In this case, you want to avoid using a company that is only equipped with small portable water extractors and go with a bigger company that has truck mounts and is able to extract water at high volumes quickly. Also, a company that uses its own equipment and has a large stock will be able to get the drying process done much quicker than a company that has to rent equipment for your disaster.

TSP Products for Smoke Odor Cleanup and Removal

5/21/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage TSP Products for Smoke Odor Cleanup and Removal Aside from cleaning soot and residue, odor from smoke can be extremely difficult to get rid of.

TSP on Garments

Products containing tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) can reduce odors in fabrics. TSP is caustic so be careful! Read the label for directions and safety instructions.

Test garments before using any treatment, and follow the manufacturer's instructions. Smoke odor and soot can sometimes be washed from clothing that can be bleached. Measure 4 to 6 tbsp. Tri-Sodium Phosphate and 1 cup household cleaner or chlorine bleach for every gallon of warm water you will use. Alternatively, consider washing clothes in cold water with your usual household laundry detergent, and adding one tablespoon of pure vanilla extract.

TSP on Walls, Furniture, and Floors

To remove soot and smoke from walls, furniture and floors, use a mild soap or detergent or mix together 4 to 6 tbsp. tri-sodium phosphate and 1 cup household cleaner or chlorine bleach to every gallon of warm water. Wear rubber gloves. Be sure to rinse surfaces with clear warm water and dry thoroughly.

Wash walls one small area at a time, working from the floor up to prevent streaking. Rinse with clear water immediately. Ceilings should be washed last. Do not repaint until walls and ceilings are completely dry. Reduce the chances of growth of mold and mildew by wiping down all surfaces that had gotten wet with a solution of one cup of liquid household bleach to a gallon of water. (Test surfaces to ensure that the bleach solution will not discolor these surfaces. To conduct this test, wipe a small area of the surface with the bleach solution, and allow it to dry at least 24 hours.)

Washable wallpaper can be cleaned like painted walls, but do not wet through the paper. Use a commercial paste to repaste any loose edges or sections.

Lightning Safety: What You Need to Know

5/13/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Lightning Safety: What You Need to Know Tall thunderstorm clouds are more likely to produce lightning strikes.

The chances of being killed or injured by lightning are slim to none. However, that does not mean it can’t happen or that you should not exercise caution during a storm. The most important tip for being safe during a lightning strike is actually quite simple. Avoid being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Lightning is generated on a scale that is too large to be influenced by small objects on the ground, so if you are struck by lightning it is because you were in the spot that the lightning was already going to strike. Victims of lightning strikes in the past were struck regardless of the metal items that were or were not around them at the time.

Instead of thinking about the items that are around you, you would be better suited to focus on where you are. Avoid the areas where lightning can strike which is, essentially, anywhere outdoors.

Stay Indoors

Staying indoors during a storm is the number one way to keep safe from a lightning strike. If lightning strikes a house or a building directly, it will tend to follow the available paths to ground, including the electrical wiring, plumbing, cable or telephone lines, antennas and/or steel framework. Structures like bus shelters, outhouses, lean-to shelters, or any small non-metal structure do not provide any lightning protection. Although most homes serve as a safe shelter from lightning strikes there are still safety measures you can take inside to minimize danger such as:

  • Don't use any wired appliance or device. Wireless appliances (cordless phones, razors, etc) are safe to use.
  • Stay away from water pipes and faucets. (No baths, showers, etc.)
  • Don't stand on a basement floor or patio slab, or anywhere where standing water or excessive moisture is present. These areas are 'ground current' danger zones.
  • Stay away from walls where electrical wiring is present. Lightning will occasionally jump through the air inside a house or building to reach a better grounding path, such as from electrical wires to a water pipe.

Go to Your Car

If there is no other option for shelter, you are safer in your vehicle than out in the open. This is only true for hard-topped vehicles and does not apply to convertibles or open vehicles such as golf carts. While inside the vehicle keep your windows closed and make sure to avoid touching metal parts of the car. The current from a direct hit from a lightning strike will usually travel through the frame of the car and through the tires before hitting the ground. After a strike, make sure to check the vehicle to make sure fuel was not ignited which can lead to an explosion.

Does Clothing Matter?

Clothing and accessories you are wearing do not influence your chances of being struck by lightning. That being said, if you are struck, metal items you wear can act as conductors for the electrical current. These items can become vaporized, leaving burn marks on your body.

Lightning Warning Signs

In addition to the obvious warning of an ominously darkening sky, there are certain conditions that can alert you to a lightning danger before the strikes threaten. You are in a 'danger zone' and need to seek immediate shelter if you experience any of the following:

  • Rain and hail can signal the presence of a thunderstorm cloud overhead especially if the rain is heavy. In fact, larger raindrops can occur when a thunderstorm cloud is tall and more likely to produce a lightning strike.
  • If you can hear thunder or see flashes from lightning strikes, you are in the range of the next strike.
  • AM Radio static, crackling, and popping noises can occur when lightning strikes are present.
  • Doppler weather radar will show thunderstorms as red, orange and/or yellow blobs. There are many resources online that you can utilize to see this radar including mobile applications. The Weather Channel also shows Doppler radar periodically.

Choosing SERVPRO Over the Other Restoration Company

5/6/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Choosing SERVPRO Over the Other Restoration Company SERVPRO of Winter Park can be at your property in an hour or less fully equipped to take on the situation at hand.

When disaster strikes in your home or property, you are faced with a choice between many restoration companies in your area. There are many important factors you should consider before making a final decision. Most instances of water damage, fire damage, and mold remediation are stressful from the beginning and your choice of a company to remedy the issues can determine how stressful your situation will be moving forward. Here are some key factors that should be considered.

1. How Long Has the Company Been in Business

New restoration companies come along quite often. There is a benefit to using a company that has been around for years and established an extensive amount of experience performing jobs in your specific area. Since 2011, our locally owned and independently operated franchise has been servicing and building amazing relationships in Orlando, Winter Park, College Park, Baldwin Park, and Maitland. Going with a company with years of experience usually means that there is a greater chance of reviews being available as well.

2. How Are the Company’s Reviews Online?

Reading reviews before deciding on a company is a great way to get foresight on how well services will be provided for you. Aside from looking for good reviews, also check to see how many reviews the company is getting. It is easy, even for a bad company, to get a few good reviews. However, having a high overall review rating with a large number of reviews usually shows that customers tend to have a positive experience with that company’s reviews. Even the best company can have a few bad reviews. In these cases, see if the company has responded to the review and offered any reasonable solutions. If bad reviews are common for the company, it may be best to find an alternative. Some good places to search for reviews include Google, Facebook, and Yelp

3. Does the Company Have Certifications?

Make sure the company you choose is certified and trained to handle the task at hand. For example, at SERVPRO of Winter Park, our technicians are IICRC certified and trained to handle mold situations correctly, keeping the client’s and their own safety a priority. Part of this training is knowing to keep an area contaminated with mold completely sealed off and contained so that non-affected areas remain so.

4. How Fast Can They Mobilize?

Hiring a restoration company that can quickly arrive when needed should be a huge factor in your decision. The extent of water damage to your property can increase dramatically the longer you have standing water present. SERVPRO of Winter Park can be at your home fully equipped to extract and begin drying in an hour or less.

Early Predictions for 2019 Hurricane Season

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Early Predictions for 2019 Hurricane Season Early hurricane season predictions help us know what to expect, however, we should always prepare for the worse as they have been wrong in the past.

Even though the severe weather from last year's tropical season only ended four months ago, it is just another month until the upcoming 2019 Atlantic hurricane season kicks off on June 1st. The season extends through November 30th, with approximately 95 percent of all the major storms happening after August 1st in the so-called peak season. Earlier in April, Colorado State University's highly respected hurricane predictions research team unveiled its early tropical predictions for 2019. With more than 35 years under their belts, this year they are calling for a slightly less active than usual hurricane season. 

Early Hurricane Predictions For 2019 Hurricanes Season 

Colorado State University is predicting for 2019 hurricanes 13 named storms, with five of them becoming hurricanes and two evolving into major hurricanes. This is close to the usual quantity of predicted storms. The good news is that overall tropical activity (measured based on the storms' intensity and total energy rather than the number of named storms) has been forecast at a little below the average season. In the typical tropical season, there are 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes sweeping through the Atlantic Ocean or the Caribbean Sea.

How These Predictions Are Made and Compare to the 2018 Season

The Colorado State University team contemplates the present day state of El Nino and the Atlantic Ocean temperatures in coming up with its highly anticipated tropical outlook. The two important elements are showing the season will be less active than usual. 

In 2018's tropical season, the number of storms proved to be 15 named, 8 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes. The two major storms were Hurricanes Michael and Florence. Hurricane Michael landed in Mexico Beach, Florida with stunning total winds of 155 miles per hour on October 10th at almost Category 5 power. This proved to be among the most potent hurricanes to ever make landfall in the United States. For its central barometric pressure, this was the third most powerful storm in history to land in the U.S. No landfalling storm since Hurricane Andrew (smashing into south Florida in August of 1992 and leveling everything in its landing) boasted the winds of Michael. Michael's economic impact is estimated by economists to run $25 billion. 

Hurricane Florence landed in North and South Carolina back in September of 2018. The storm poured out over 30 inches worth of rain, causing severe flooding for many days. Over a dozen individual rivers reached major flood levels, causing forced evacuations and devastating property damage. Both Hurricanes Matthew (2016) and Floyd (1999) had their flood records destroyed by Florence. It caused an estimated approximately $25 billion in damage as well. 

Colorado State University's team is not the only one making hurricane season forecasts. AccuWeather the private service has predicted a greater number of storms for the season, with from five to seven full hurricanes. AccuWeather was quick to remind that seasons with fewer storms than average have still produced devastating hurricanes.

Predictions Have Sometimes Been Far Off In The Past 

In the last several years, the initial forecasts from Colorado State University have been pretty accurate. In 2018 they called for seven hurricanes and eight occurred. For 2016, they predicted six when seven hurricanes actually formed. 

Yet they missed the outcome of season 2017 pretty significantly, as did the other hurricane forecasting outfits. While they predicted four hurricanes in 2017, the season produced 10. Among these were the hugely destructive Irma, Harvey, and Maria. This once again goes to show you that even a low number of predicted hurricanes for a season can still lead to hugely destructive hurricanes in the end. Because of this possibility, it is always important to prepare for a hurricane regardless of early predictions.