The ingredients for a hurricane include:
- A preexisting weather disturbance
- Relatively light winds aloft
- Warm tropical oceans
If the right conditions persist long enough, they can combine to produce the violent winds, incredible waves, torrential rains, and floods we associate with this phenomenon.
Each year, an average of 10 tropical storms develop over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico. Many of these remain over the ocean and never impact the U.S. coastline. Of these, 6 storms become hurricanes each year.
In an average 3-year period, roughly 5 hurricanes strike the US coastline, killing approximately 50 - 100 people anywhere from Texas to Maine. Of these, 2 are typically "major" or "intense" hurricanes (a category 3 or higher storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale).
Disaster prevention includes modifying your home to strengthen it against storms so that you can be as safe as possible. It also includes having the supplies on hand to weather the storm. The suggestions provided here are only guides. You should use common sense in your disaster prevention.
Hurricane Preparedness includes:
- Creating a Disaster Supply Kit: There are certain items you need to have regardless of where you ride out a hurricane. The disaster supply kit is a useful tool when you evacuate as well as making you as safe as possible in your home.
- Developing a Family Plan: Your family's plan should be based on your vulnerability to the Hurricane Hazards. You should keep a written plan and share your plan with other friends or family.
- Having a Pet Plan
- Having a Place to Go
- Securing your Home: There are things that you can do to make your home more secure and able to withstand stronger storms
For more tips and useful information, check out the National Weather Service website. You can also find useful information about your community's vulnerability to specific hazards such as hurricanes.
One of the most important decisions you will have to make is "Should I Evacuate?" If officials recommend that you evacuate, you should do so without delay.