may be gone, but the relief operation she spawned will continue for
many months, possibly years, to come. And, while the Red Cross had been
warning residents along the coast to prepare,
few had even enough supplies for the requisite three days. Of course,
few anticipated the possibility that it might take 5 or 6 days before
rescuers could get into the disaster area. Of those who made it to shelter,
many came without their medicine, their toothbrush, or even a change
of clothes. A little preparation could have gone a long way.
Hurricanes are the largest of all storms, and
are sometimes accompanied by one or more of the following weather hazards:
storm surges, high winds, tornadoes, and/or flooding. Before
the next hurricane strikes, you must be prepared for all of these possibilities:
Before the Storm...
Know the difference between hurricane watch and warning:
Prepare for high winds
- Watch - Hurricane conditions
are possible in the specified area, usually within 36 hours.
- Warning - Hurricane conditions
are expected in the specified area, usually within 24 hours.
As the Storm Approaches...
- Install hurricane shutters or precut 3/4"
thick marine plywood for each window of your home. Install anchors
for the plywood and pre-drill holes for quick installation.
- Make trees more wind resistant by removing
diseased or damaged limbs, then strategically remove select branches
to allow wind to blow through.
Caught in the storm...
- Secure lawn furniture, decorations, hanging
plants, and anything else that can be picked up by the wind -- bring
inside anything which cannot be tied down.
- Prepare to cover all your windows with shutters
or precut plywood as described above -- if you do not have plywood,
do what you can to prevent shattering.
NOTE: Tape is not effective.
- Fill your gas tank in your car.
- Secure and double-check tie-downs on manufactured
- Stock up on bottled water, canned goods, batteries,
first aid supplies and medications.
- Listen to news broadcasts frequently - if
they advise to evacuate, leave immediately!
- If you are not advised to evacuate, stay indoors,
away from windows. Be aware, the calm "eye" of the storm is deceptive
- the storm is not over. The worst part of the storm comes after the
eye passes and objects damaged by the force of the first winds can
be broken off and sent flying by the opposing force of the second
- Watch for tornadoes which can occur during
or after a hurricane.
- Remain in the center of your home, in a closet
or bathroom without windows.
- Stay away from flood waters.
- Do not try to cross a flooded road, turn around
- If waters are rising rapidly around you, leave
your car and climb to higher ground.
is a Hurricane?
A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone, which
is a generic term for a low pressure system that generally forms in
the tropics. The cyclone is accompanied by thunderstorms and, in the
Northern Hemisphere, a counterclockwise circulation of winds near the
earth's surface. Tropical cyclones are classified as follows:
|| An organized
system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation
and maximum sustained winds* of 38 mph (33 kt**) or less
|| An organized
system of strong thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation
and maximum sustained winds of 39-73 mph (34-63 kt)
|| An intense tropical
weather system of strong thunderstorms with a well-defined surface
circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 kt) or higher
| * Sustained winds
are defined as a 1-minute average wind measured at about 33 ft
(10 meters) above the surface.
** 1 knot =
1 nautical mile per hour or 1.15 statute miles per hour. Abbreviated
and Disaster: Be Prepared