How Common are Cat 5 Hurricanes in Florida?

Saturday, October 28th, 2023

Cat 5 hurricanes are extremely serious events when they happen, but they are thankfully rare. In fact, there have only ever been four recorded hurricanes that have hit land of this level in the entire living history of the USA. These storms are intense and extremely dangerous, threatening life, infrastructure, and well-being every time one comes to pass.

The First Cat 5 Hurricane in Florida

The very first incident of a Cat 5 hurricane landed in Florida in 1935. Known as the Labor Day hurricane, its devastation was felt rippling through the state and it touched thousands of residents. There were over 400 fatalities as a result of the 185MPH winds and there were more than 40 miles of destruction recorded at the time.

The Most Recent Cat 5 Event

Florida did not see another extreme weather event that ranked as highly as a Cat 5 until late 2018 when Hurricane Michael came to pass. Wind speeds did not quite match the Labor Day hurricane event, but they were still catastrophic and registered at around 160MPH. There were at least eight deaths as a direct result of this storm and the devastation was felt all over the state. Hurricane Andrew, which occurred in 1992, was briefly registered as a Cat 5 when it first landed in Florida but was downgraded as it traveled across the state. This too caused intense levels of destruction and chaos.

What Makes a Cat 5 Hurricane?

There are five different categories when it comes to ranking hurricane severity. Cat 5 is the most serious, and Cat 1 is the least serious, but still a significant weather event under any circumstances. To rank as a Cat 5, the wind must be registered at over 157 MPH.  This reach causes untold destruction and is extremely dangerous to human life. It can tear down buildings and disrupt basic infrastructure systems like electricity, internet connections, gas mains, and more.

Why Is Florida Vulnerable to Hurricanes?

Though there have only been a handful of the highest-ranking hurricanes, Florida has experienced more than its fair share of less serious weather events of this nature as well. There have been over one hundred recorded incidents since official records began back in the 1800s, and each one of them has brought unique consequences and turmoil to the state and its residents. While Floridians may be well versed in hurricanes, it doesn’t make dealing with this type of event any easier should it come to pass. So, what makes this state so vulnerable?


The simple, most straightforward answer is because of its location. Florida is situated in the Gulf of Mexico, close to the Caribbean. It has a warm climate and ocean and sees action from the heat-intensive African winds as well. All of this adds up to the perfect conditions for hurricanes to form over the Atlantic and make their way inland.

The Coastline

The size of Florida’s coastline means it is an easy target for hurricanes to land. There are two clear points of entry for the winds to gain momentum including the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic, both of which cover over 1,000 miles in terms of coastline up and down the state.

How to Prepare for a Hurricane Event

If you live in Florida state, you will be no stranger to hurricane preparation. There are smart moves, but doing anything is better than just standing around and waiting for a weather event to hit. A lack of preparation increases the chance of property damage, injury, and even loss of life. So, it makes sense to dive into the process with open arms and get your life ready for the worst just in case. Cat 5 hurricanes are amongst the rarest in the world, but Florida has seen most of them come and go right on their doorstep.

Have a Hurricane Plan

The best thing you can do is have some kind of plan in place for when a hurricane warning is announced. There are dedicated channels for this type of thing, and these should always be watched closely just in case something sinister is coming. A plan should include what you are going to do when the warning is cast and how you will prepare your house if you opt to stay put until the storm passes.

Evacuation Measures

Get to know where the nearest official shelter is and make sure you know how you would get there with enough provisions in a serious weather event. Take precautionary measures to plan for flash flooding, because it is easier than you may realize to get trapped inland by flood water.

Prepare Provisions

It is also wise to have a stash of provisions in case of a storm. This should always include batteries, water, first aid, flashlights, portable chargers, extra clothing, non-perishable food items, sleeping equipment, and spare fuel to cover all the bases. Some people choose to take this further and invest in things like a generator and gas-powered cooking equipment for if (or when) the power goes out.

Take Care of Your House

It is impossible to lift your house up and move it away from the hurricane, so you have to get it ready instead. This includes putting shutters or similar on all of your windows, tying down any garden equipment, and securing the parameters wherever possible. Any tall trees in close proximity should be tended to, and it is wise to invest in a protective cover for your vehicle as well. Make sure any safe room you have built is fully equipped and in a safe enough location too.

How Common Are Cat 5 Hurricanes in Florida?

Thankfully, not very. However, Florida is the state most at risk of this kind of weather event, so it is best to be prepared at all times.

Storm Damage is the expert when it comes to all things hurricanes. We understand the devastation such an event can cause to homes and lives, and the team is here to help. Find our contact information below and get in touch if you need further legal input.

Visit our office here, 200 Lake Morton Drive, Suite 300, Lakeland, FL 33801.

Call us today for a free consultation on (833) 941-7867.

4 Areas of the Home that are Most Vulnerable to Wind Damage

Saturday, October 21st, 2023

Wind damage can wreak havoc on properties and has caused untold destruction time and time again in Florida state. Given that this area is prone to hurricanes because of its shape and location, there are often strong winds moving in from both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean that threaten the infrastructure and domestic homes everywhere. Here’s a list of the four most vulnerable areas that are susceptible to heavy damages as a result of strong winds.


The number one feature on this list is windows. Windows are easy enough to protect with shutters and reinforced protective barriers, but that doesn’t mean they won’t still see a lot of damage. It is difficult to tell exactly what the wind will bring when it arrives, but one thing is for certain: glass panes are highly vulnerable. Whether it is from flying debris, sheer force, or a fallen tree, they are the most likely things to break and shatter.

Roof Areas

Up next is the roof area of your property. The wind is capable of removing tiles and causing chaos to the building work underneath. When a roof is damaged in strong weather events, it can lead to leaks, personal injury, and structural problems as well.


Doors are also highly likely to become victims during hurricanes or other types of storms that bring intense winds along for the ride. Anyone with a double-entry door is susceptible to seeing an intense amount of breakage because of how the mechanism is set up. These kinds of doors tend to have glass panes in them, which is an additional complication to factor in.

The Garage

Finally, if you have a garage on the property, this is a structure that is likely to see some kind of devastation during a weather event such as this. It’s not just the windows, doors, and roofs of these buildings that might become broken or removed, but the walls and assets inside as well.

What to Do If Your Property Is Damaged

The best step to take is to file a claim with your insurance company, and Storm Damage attorneys can provide support with this. Having a legal professional on your team when discussing matters with an insurance company is beneficial. It means you will get to know the right things to say and how to represent the facts of the claim more clearly.

Never underestimate the power of wind when it comes to property damage. There are lots of preventative measures you can put in place, but ultimately the weather does as nature intends. Your home may be in a state of disrepair but don’t hesitate to take action.

Storm Damage attorneys have represented hundreds of clients with cases like yours. We know what needs to be said, which evidence to represent, and how to get the desired results in every case that is brought to us. Don’t delay making contact, it will be a smart move.

Visit our office here: 200 Lake Morton Drive, Suite 300, Lakeland, FL 33801.

Call us today for a free consultation on (833) 941-7867.

How to Protect Your Windows from Severe Storm Damage

Monday, October 16th, 2023

Once you have experienced a storm or two, you understand exactly why the windows of your house or place of business are vulnerable during these extreme times. Hurricanes and thunderstorms are always a risk, but you can take steps to protect the windows to mitigate the potential damages. There may still be small repairs to make, but these will be far less than what could happen if you don’t take action now. This guide explores what you need to do, and how to get it done.

Install Shutters

Shutter installation is one of the best methods for preventing and controlling damage when a storm decides to come along. Some of the top of the range options are on the expensive side, though the investment is arguably worth making if it means you will have fewer costs down the line. The purpose of shutters is to create a structurally sound barrier between the weather event and your glass. They are highly protective and designed to withstand heavy battering. Shutters are often made from durable materials like steel and aluminum and are installed over the window. You can pick a style, for instance, a roll-down shutter, and even the color too.

Try Plywood

If you are not convinced by shutters and want something less aesthetically invasive, then plywood is the ideal solution. It is cost-effective and has fairly protective elements to it. Plywood is more of a single-use product and will provide a decent amount of barrier for your windows when bad weather comes calling. They can be drilled into the frame or slotted into place when the time is right, and removed once the storm has passed.

Change Your Glass Panes

So many homes and businesses in America still have single pane glass. Yet, when it comes to areas with high storm frequency, these are extremely ineffective. Single pane glass is the weakest around and will shatter fairly easily when faced with strong winds or flying debris. Instead, consider upgrading the glass to double or triple glazing. This can be taken even further with an investment in high impact window styles, which are built to withstand extreme hits and are a particularly useful asset when it comes to fighting the elements. Also known as tempered glass, it is over three times as strong as regular windows!

Have Some Storm Panels in Storage

If you don’t quite have the budget for tempered glass or aluminum shutters, then you must instead find some storm panels to keep in storage. These are strong pieces of wood that you bring out whenever a storm warning hits. They should be installed professionally for maximum impact and are typically slid into the window frame either internally, externally, or both. Made from strong polycarbonate materials, they will serve as a barrier between the weather and your glass.

Specific Fabric for Hurricanes

There is a new arrival to the hurricane protection market known as hurricane fabric. This material was created specifically to counteract the effects of extreme winds and rains and keep windows safe beneath it. They are lightweight, non-invasive, and typically easy to set up in any home regardless of the style or shape of your glass. So, if you have a senior relative or you know somebody who lives in an isolated area without much help in sight, these are great options to put forward. They can be lifted with ease and put into place without too much effort at all. This makes them a solid option when it comes to storm safety. They are becoming a highly popular option for larger buildings with more glass to cover.

Window Film

Another budget-friendly option is window film. The main goal is to prevent the glass from completely shattering and therefore causing, not only damage to the window, but your home and family too. It is fitted outside of the window and secured into place and has proven effective time and time again for decades. Even if the glass does break, it won’t go far, and the pane can be easily taken out and disposed of safely once the strong winds have subsided.

Why Is It Important to Protect Windows?

The biggest reason why windows need protection is because they are made of glass. When glass breaks, it can fly in multiple directions and cause untold damage. If a person is cut, or hit by a broken windowpane circulating during a hurricane, they are more likely to suffer a catastrophic injury or even death. There are so many dangers associated with unprotected windows that it has even become an integral part of insurance policies for building owners to consider. It makes sense to protect the panes of a house or office because they are the most at risk and highly exposed, with the potential to cause big damages and other consequences too.

Be Ready

Taking action is the only way to go. There are lots of options listed in the guide above, and many of them would suit a lower budget too. The price will depend on how many windows your property has and what type of glass is installed.

Storm damage is one of those things that is outside of our control. It happens whether we want it to or not, but there are still things you can do to prepare for the worst circumstances. Your property is an asset, but it is also your home, and it deserves some attention so that it has the best possible chance of staying strong and standing during extreme weather events. If you have suffered as a result of a storm, get in touch and see how we can help you with everything that comes next.

The dedicated team at Storm Damage understands the emotional and financial toll a storm can have on your life. We are committed to helping victims find the best way forward so that they can get on with their lives in the best way possible. Don’t hesitate to make an appointment or call us for a conversation.

Find our office at 200 Lake Morton Drive, Suite 300, Lakeland, FL 33801.

Call us today for a free consultation on (833) 941-7867.

Which Areas of the Home are Most Vulnerable to Hurricane Damage?

Wednesday, October 11th, 2023

Hurricane season is always a tense time for those who live in hurricane-prone areas. There is that constant underlying fear that a hurricane could hit at any time and pose a direct threat to your home. All you have to do is take a look at the news to understand just how extensive the damage can be. Even a Category 1 hurricane can cause substantial damage. And because you can’t just pick up your house and place it outside a hurricane-prone area, it’s important to take preventative and protective steps.

Here we’ll take a look at which areas of the home are most vulnerable to hurricane damage, and some tips to help safeguard it.

The Roof

If you were to name one area that is extremely vulnerable to hurricane damage, it has to be the roof. High winds are part of a hurricane and depending on the age, current condition and type of roof you have, it may not be able to stand up to the wind. It may just damage some areas of the roof, or you could be dealing with a total loss.

To help prevent this from happening, be sure to constantly inspect your roof for signs of wear and tear and address those issues immediately.

The Windows

Just as with the roof, windows are also prone to hurricane damage. The force of the wind can cause them to break and pose a danger to those sheltering in the home. Reinforced windows that have been properly installed are the best way to prevent this from happening. If you live in an area that experiences multiple hurricanes and strong storms, installing storm shutters on all the windows is also wise.

The Garage Door

A garage is a feature that many homeowners love. It’s perfect for parking your vehicle and/or acting as storage. When a storm hits, however, the garage door doesn’t offer much in terms of protection. They are typically very lightweight which means the wind can damage them and even force the door off the track. Be sure the door and the parts, such as center supports and hinges, are all of high quality.

Not All Damage Can Be Prevented

At the end of the day, even being aware of the most vulnerable spots in your home and taking the proper measures to safeguard them isn’t always enough. Hurricanes are extremely powerful, and your home may still sustain serious storm damage.

If you’re dealing with a property loss claim, it’s best to contact us, the professionals at Storm Damage. A property loss claim can be extremely stressful and typically involves such things as:

Even after all of that, you may feel the insurance company is underpaying your claim. It’s for these reasons and more that we here at Storm Damage can prove essential during this time. We’ve got a team of consultants, attorneys and contractors that will assist you throughout the process and answer all your questions.

Come and visit our offices at 200 Lake Morton Drive, Suite 300, Lakeland, FL 33801.

Don’t have the time to visit us? Call us today for a free consultation at (833) 941-7867.

Let us at Storm Damage help you through this stressful time.

How Much Damage Can a Cat 5 Hurricane Do To Your Business?

Wednesday, September 20th, 2023

Air and water can be devastating if they move fast enough and have enough volume. In a hurricane, you get both moving at speeds starting at 74 miles an hour. Hurricanes are placed in categories depending on how fast they are, with category one being the slowest and category five being the fastest. Category 5 or cat 5 hurricanes have wind speeds of over 156 miles an hour and can come with heavy showers.

Such hurricanes can cause devastation and extensive damage to businesses and their infrastructures. The extent of the damage depends on several factors, including the path the hurricane takes, the area’s vulnerability to hurricanes, and how prepared the business is for such weather events.

Businesses that are destroyed or suffer damage during a hurricane can make property loss claims that can help them carry out the necessary repairs and get back on their feet. So, what kinds of damage can a Category Five hurricane cause?

Structural Damage

The most visible damage caused by a storm is structural damage. As the wind picks up, it may rip shingles from the roof or cause it to collapse. Once wind speeds hit Category 5 speeds, we see damage to walls, windows, and outdoor structures like decks and patios. Depending on their structural integrity, structures may be blown away by the wind, necessitating new ones because repairs would not be possible then.

In cases where the structure remains standing, which is improbable, but it happens, the extensive damage caused by the strong winds and heavy showers means the business would have to undertake significant repairs or tear down the building to start over. The result is additional costs that the business can claim from their insurance provider.

Flooding Can Cause Severe Damage

Category 5 hurricanes also come with storm surges and heavy rainfall that can lead to widespread flooding, mainly in coastal areas. However, other areas can get flooded depending on several factors, such as the grade of the land and mitigation measures taken to protect against flooding. Areas can also flood if the flow of water is impeded by structures, such that it flows from the area slowly.

Flooding destroys everything in the flooded area, including equipment, cars, structures, and inventory, leading to massive losses for businesses.

Any buildings that are partially or fully flooded will remain uninhabitable for a few weeks. Business owners have to wait for the flooding to stop and then clean their buildings to get rid of anything the flood water brought in. They then have to dry the building thoroughly to protect against issues such as mold and additional structure damage from prolonged dampness.

Power Outages

Category 5 hurricanes also knock down power lines. Even though that would not have a huge impact on businesses in the hurricane’s path because they are likely evacuated anyway, it can disrupt businesses in the surrounding areas. Widespread power outages like this means affected businesses cannot use devices that depend on electricity.

Additionally, crime often spikes when there is no power, so businesses must also think about protecting themselves from losses associated with theft. They can incur costs associated with putting security measures in place to protect themselves, or ensure they have proper insurance so they are protected from the costs associated with the power outage and any looting that may occur.

Lost Revenue Due to Business Interruptions

All the above – flooring, power outages, and structural damage – can lead to business disruption depending on how long they continue. Businesses can suffer long-term financial losses and must also deal with short-term revenue losses. All of this is on top of the expenses they incur getting their buildings in order and their businesses back up and running.

Business disruptions can also occur due to evacuations before and during a hurricane. Employee safety is crucial, so businesses should evacuate their premises in case of such events, which leads to them shutting down temporarily.

Even in cases where repairs are not required or the business does not need to recover from other damage, employees may be unable to return to work. This happens due to disruption to infrastructure and surrounding transportation networks. The latter compounds the issue further and leads to additional losses.

Category 5 Hurricanes Cause Supply Chain Disruptions

Transportation and logistics networks do not work when a Category 5 hurricane is on the way. Once these networks stop working, whole supply chains are disrupted. As with power outages, the effects of such disruptions are felt by businesses in the immediate and surrounding areas.

Businesses not directly impacted by the strong winds, heavy rainfall, flooding, and other hurricane events might experience delays in receiving essential products and materials. The result is production delays and potential revenue loss.

They may also lose some of their customers who do not receive their shipped products in time and choose to go with a competitor who can ship the products.

Hurricanes Can Cause Data Loss

Businesses collect a lot of data that they use to serve their customers better, enhance their marketing, understand their competition, and much more. Sadly, many businesses do not follow proper data backup policies and strategies and end up storing their data onsite.

Businesses that do this put themselves at risk of losing the data in case of a hurricane. For this reason, all businesses must have off-site data backups in place, and they should also work with specialists to ensure they can recover their data easily.

Businesses Can Pay Higher Insurance Costs

Insurance providers want to make as much money as possible while paying as little as they can get away with. This is why it is common for businesses in areas that experience hurricanes to pay higher insurance premiums than those located in other areas. They are also more likely to face higher deductibles to cover regular payouts.

A category 5 hurricane is the strongest hurricane we can categorize right now, with winds faster than 157 miles per hour. These winds and the heavy rain that accompanies them can cause a lot of damage and cost businesses a lot of money. Businesses that have suffered such damage can make a claim with the help of our insurance claim advocates at Storm Damage, so they can start rebuilding.

You can visit our offices at 200 Lake Morton Drive, Suite 300, Lakeland, FL 33801 to talk to one of our team members about specific concerns or to ask any questions you have.

You can also call us today for a free consultation at (833) 941-7867.