storm damage
People walk near the remains of burned homes after Hurricane Sandy in Breezy Point, Queens. New York City was hit especially hard by Sandy with wide spread power outages and flooding. Photo: Getty Images

June marks the start of the Atlantic hurricane season, and that means that millions of homes along the coast could be at risk of storm damage.

In New York City alone, more than 726,000 homes are at risk of storm damage like flooding from a storm surge, making it the second most at-risk city in the nation behind Miami, Florida, according to a new report.

Forecasters are predicting 10 to 16 named storms this hurricane season, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, of which five to nine could become hurricanes with winds of 74 miles per hour or higher.

One to four of those storms, forecasters say, could become major hurricanes, meaning category 3, 4, or 5 with winds of 111 miles per hour or higher.

 

That puts more than 6.9 million homes along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts at potential risk, according to CoreLogic, a property information and analytics company, totaling more than $1.6 trillion in reconstruction cost value.

CoreLogic’s report broke down the top 15 metropolitan areas with the most homes at risk of storm damage, as well as the total number of at-risk homes in 19 states along the coast.

New York City’s hundreds of thousands of at-risk homes have a reconstruction cost value of more than $277 billion, higher than the value of the 788,000 homes in Miami.

Tampa, New Orleans and Virginia Beach were ranked behind New York in terms of metro areas with the most at-risk homes, but other northern cities made the top 15 as well. Philadelphia came in at number 11, with more than 165,000 homes at risk of storm surge, and Boston at number 14, with more than 126,000 homes at risk.

In terms of statewide storm risk, New Jersey ranked fourth, with more than 471,000 homes that could be affected by a moderate (category 4-5) storm, totaling more than $146 million in reconstruction costs.

New York state was right behind at number five, with 462,000 homes at risk, more than $190 million in reconstruction value.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is encouraging those who live in at-risk areas to prepare for disasters.

"It only takes one storm to devastate a community so now is the time to prepare,” said acting FEMA Deputy Administrator Daniel Kaniewski in a statement. “Do you have adequate insurance, including flood insurance? Does your family have a communication and evacuation plan? Stay tuned to your local news and download the FEMA app to get alerts, and make sure you heed any warnings issued by local officials.”

NYC Emergency Management is also urging New Yorkers to prepare for hurricane season by figuring out if they live in one of the city’s six hurricane evacuation zones. 

Called the "Know Your Zone" campaign, the public service announcements officialled kicked off on Friday. New Yorkers can use the Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder at NYC.gov/knowyourzone or call 311 (212-639-9675 for Video Relay Service, or TTY: 212-504-4115) to find out if their address is located in an evacuation zone. "If you live in an evacuation zone," the city says, "have a plan for where you will go if an evacuation order is issued for your area."

 

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