Harvey grew up fast, from tropical depression to hurricane

by Jon Sonnenschein on August 25, 2017

 Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 7.50.30 AM.pngTrack of Hurricane Harvey and sample portfolio exposure 

When Hurricane Harvey makes its eventual landfall late Friday evening into Saturday morning, it’s expected to be the first Category 3 hurricane to hit Texas since Hurricane Bret in 1999. The storm grew quickly, with 30 mph winds developing into 80+ mph winds in just a few days.

What you need to know

Forecasters are predicting Harvey to stall over southeastern Texas with little to no movement for a few days, which would cause devastating flooding and storm surge if the forecasts are correct. “Areas along the middle and upper Texas coast may see 15 to 25 inches of rain, with a few areas receiving up to 35 inches.” Louisiana has also declared a state of emergency, expecting up to 10 inches of rain from Harvey.

While meteorologists and forecasters have a good idea of what may happen, weather patterns can change in an instant. Hurricanes cause a great deal of damage not only from storm surge, but from high-speed winds and flooding as well. With Harvey having developed so quickly from a tropical depression to a full-blown hurricane, it’s likely we’ll see even more updated forecasts in the hours and days to come. Luckily, insurers can leverage expert event data to see where this storm will have the most impact, and prepare for the ensuing damages.

How to use SpatialKey to track the storm and mitigate your risk

With Hurricane Harvey now imminent, you can use SpatialKey to track and monitor this event with near real-time updates. Here are some tips to help you weather the storm:

  • Access Hurricane Harvey’s current storm path to prepare your plan of action. By leveraging the storm path provided by NOAA and easily accessible via SpatialKey, you can track the storm as it approaches.
  • Manage your event response by using the information within SpatialKey to make recommendations to your insureds that will help mitigate damage.
  • Analyze the storm track against your current portfolio to understand your exposure concentration not only to determine the potential cost of claims, but also to proactively prepare your claims team to mobilize and respond to insureds.
  • Understand your exposure to wind, flood, and storm surge by filtering and segmenting data based on characteristics such as wind speed, construction type, and line of business.
  • Evaluate the path of the storm and gauge “what-if” scenarios to understand the potential impact to your portfolio.
  • Leverage historic data from storms that have hit the same regions in the past to gain an understanding of how Harvey may impact your portfolio.

Screen Shot 2017-08-25 at 12.22.21 PM.pngStorm surge indundation levels along Texas coast

With hurricane season fully underway (we’re now in the “season-within-a-season”), you mustn’t underestimate this event. Flooding in Texas and Louisiana is forecasted to be devastating, with storm surge predicted to be life-threatening. We know you’re doing everything in your power to get ready to handle this event, and we are here to help.

To learn more about accessing the latest Hurricane Harvey data and analyzing it against your own portfolio, don’t hesitate to reach out today.

Topics: Hurricane, Event Analysis, Exposure Management, Analytics, Data, Storm Tracking

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