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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

The best time to prepare for 2018 hurricane season? Now!

A disturbance in the western Gulf of Mexico could become a substantial rainmaker and cause flooding throughout major metropolitan and coastal areas in Texas – including Fort Worth – early next week, according to a news release from the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety.

Forecasters are calling for six-plus inches of rain Sunday through Tuesday, with higher amounts possible if the system becomes tropical before making landfall, the release said. Many locations impacted by Hurricane Harvey last summer could be affected.

The release said impacted areas from the slow-moving system may include Austin, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Port Arthur, San Antonio and Victoria, as well as Lake Charles, Louisiana.

The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety offers various resources for business owners to prepare their facilities and operations for hurricanes, tropical storms and other severe weather, including business protection resources, business continuity planning and tips for protecting financial assets.

Guidance on how Texas business owners can prepare their properties is available from the institute at disastersafety.org.

“Before the next storm strikes, business owners should take a walk around their property,” institute president/CEO Roy Wright said in the release. “They should look for and arrange repairs to loose shingles, siding or fencing. They also should trim trees away from their facility and clear gutters and drains of debris so rainwater can move away. Following these tips and other simple steps will help business owners prepare their facility and will save them time, energy, aggravation and money after the storm passes.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast calls for 10-16 named storms and 5-9 hurricanes during the 2018 storm season. The 2017 season resulted in more than $200 billion in property losses across the nation.

The release said 1-4 hurricanes could become Category 3 or higher with sustained winds of 110 MPH or faster.

“Preparedness is the key to mitigating risks for everyone in storm-prone areas,” Wright said in the release. “You can protect your property through maintenance and monitoring, and with flood insurance, if you live in an area prone to flooding. If you live or own property along any waterway, flood insurance is something you should strongly consider.”

Wright noted that there is a 30-day waiting period for new flood insurance policies, underwritten through the National Flood Insurance Program, to become effective for business owners after they are bound by their insurance agent.

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