Gulf of Mexico
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GOM - New Tool from UCF-led Team Shows Homeowners and Renters the True Cost of Disasters

The tool can provide disaster readiness reports for 13.3 million addresses in 196 counties along the Gulf of Mexico — including all of Florida, and parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas.

In some areas of the Southeast, such as Florida, the housing market is booming, but with hurricanes and other natural disasters posing annual threats, the true cost of owning a home in the region may be largely unknown.

That’s why the University of Central Florida and a team of researchers from across the country have just released a new online tool that can help people determine how ready their home, or future home, is for the next big storm.

The tool, called HazardAware, is now live, just ahead of the Atlantic hurricane season.

The easy-to-use tool allows users to plug in an address and instantly receive the property’s HazardReady score. The score shows just how resilient, or disaster-ready, a home is, and projects how much hazards, such as winds and flooding, could cost a homeowner each year.

HazardAware can provide reports for 13.3 million addresses in 196 counties along the Gulf of Mexico — including all of Florida, and parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas.  This is a region that is historically impacted by hurricanes and other large hydrometeorological hazards each year.

With continued funding, HazardAware could also be expanded to cover the entire U.S. and other disasters such as wildfires and earthquakes.

A property’s HazardReady score takes into account 15 potential threats, including hurricane winds and flooding. The score also considers social and environmental vulnerability, community resilience, and home construction factors.

Users can choose to receive an emailed custom home report for their address, and they will also receive a renter and homebuyer checklist that can help ensure they ask the right questions next time they are in the market for a home.

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