Experts worry: Hurricane season heading into new El Nino
By Gerry Peters
Traditional National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) El Nino advisories are focused on the equator zone, but there’s a new quasi-Northern El Nino, with warmer-than-usual water stretching from Mexico to the Islands.
But waiting until the storm is two days away to think about protecting your house, lanai, carport or garage door is not going to work. And then there are other things, like getting your bottled water and filling your tanks, all the way to making arrangements for your pet to be taken to one of the new pet-friendly shelters. These are all factors to considerably be worried about.
Reduce the worry with HPS Construction Services, the pioneer of retrofit hurricane protection, which is now in its 25th year of protecting everything on your house that needs strengthening, right up to your whole house exterior. HPS Construction presents a one-day, $1,300-$1,700 installation of 100-130 code rated hurricane connectors (pictured bottom right) — aka hurricane clips — that connect your roof rafters to your walls, even single walls.
Check out HPS Construction’s website’s hurricane protection page, hpsconstructionservices.com. The connectors are the same strength as current codes, weatherized with up to a 20-year anti-corrosion warranty, and, best of all they are painted to blend right in with the house exterior — and everything is done on the exterior, meaning there’s no need to disturb your family while the work is being completed.
If you’ve gotten solar PV installed, then think about this: the solar panels are attached to the roof, but without hurricane clips (houses built before 1991), the roof structure holding the panels is not connected properly to the wall top frame(s).
If you’ve had a remodel in the last few years, and invested in providing improved comfort, utility and function, then don’t be blind to the reality that it only takes one storm, even a tropical storm, to lift part or all of your roof off the walls — say, “sayonara” (byebye) new interior!
But wait, hold on for this news surprise about “our friends,” the hurricane insurers. As you might know (but probably not), the real problem — which will emerge after the next storm — is that few people realize that the starting level of the size of the hurricane losses deductible payment, to be made by homeowners prior to the insurers claims, is incredibly larger than for the non-hurricane losses. It is probably $12,000 to $13,000 deductible plus loss of use. Read the hurricane rider fine print of your policy. But sit down first!
The HPS retrofit will provide what the state insurance division, engineers and hurricane insurers have approved after a $630,000 two-year study for which I was an active participant and advocate at the Legislature in 2001-2002.
So I applaud your smart decision to consider making this relatively small investment to help strengthen the most vulnerable parts of your house, and help do something to try to prevent not only the major dislocation a storm causes, but lessen your chances of a huge out-of-pocket deductible outlay from your checkbook before you get one dollar of claim money. Your peace of mind is most important, of course.
Almost every hurricane insurer offers about 22 percent yearly credit toward your hurricane premium; we provide the letter of certification. However, sad to tell you that despite offering credits in many other south and southeast coastal states, State Farm does not offer the credits in Hawaii, preferring to have you folks with post-1991 houses underwrite the cost of the older houses they insure. Sadly, too, is the fact that Hawaii is “out to lunch” on mandating insurer incentives being made available; 14 other state legislatures ignore the insurance lobby and have taken action to make insurers put more skin in the game.
Gerry Peters is president and general manager of HPS Construction Services.