Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

More than 6.9 million homes along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts are believed to be at risk of damage from hurricanes this season. The potential total reconstruction cost value (RCV) could reach up to $1.6 trillion, an increase of around $30 billion compared to 2017. This potential surge in damages reflects The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s predictions that the 2018 hurricane season will reach or exceed normal activity.

The predictions include the increased likelihood of 10 to 16 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), including 1 to 4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher). During an average hurricane season there are about 12 named storms of which 3 reach major hurricane status.

Of all the states, Florida has the most coastal exposure and has the most susceptibility to storm surge flooding with more than 2.7 million homes at risk. Louisiana ranks second, Texas third, New Jersey fourth, and New York fifth.

Hurricanes, of course, are not the only damaging whether pattern that can leave havoc in their wake and billions or more of dollars in damage. Tropical storms, flooding, high winds, snow storms, hail and, tornadoes all pose a threat to home and business owners.

Even states that are not officially in a specific high risk weatherzone can suffer severe damage from chaotic weather. For example, while the state of Indiana is not officially part of tornado alley it nevertheless ranks eighth in a list of the top twenty tornado prone states, third for annual tornadoes per 10,000 sq. miles, third for deaths per 10,000 sq miles, and eighth for the number of tornadoes classified as killer storms.

In terms of damage to homes, “the roof is the most exposed part of the home and it is the key piece that protects your family and possessions from the elements, such as strong winds from a severe situation like a tornado or hurricane, or even a bad thunderstorm,” according to Stay Dry Roofing company.

Preparation is key when it comes to the weather, especially in vulnerable locations and seasons. “Preparing ahead of a disaster is the responsibility of all levels of government, the private sector and the public,” said acting FEMA Deputy Administrator Daniel Kaniewski.