Hurricane Information

Hurricanes are tropical cyclones with torrential rains and sustained winds of 74 miles per hour or greater which blow in a counter-clockwise direction around a central "eye." Hurricane winds can exceed 155 miles per hour and severely affect areas hundreds of miles inland. As hurricanes approach the coast, a huge dome of water called a storm surge crashes into the coastline, causing major damage to everything in its path. About nine out of ten people killed in hurricanes are victims of the storm surge. Hurricanes also spawn tornadoes and cause severe flooding from heavy rains. Hurricanes are classified into five categories, based on their wind speeds, central pressure and damage potential.

Hurricane Category Wind Speed
Category One 74 to 95 miles per hour
Category Two 96 to 110 miles per hour
Category Three 111 to 130 miles per hour
Category Four 131 to 155 miles per hour
Category Five Greater than 155 miles per hour

Steps To Take

  1. Before
  2. During
  3. After
  4. Help

There are numerous procedures that can be done prior to a hurricane to lessen the possibilities of physical injury and property damage.

Know the terms used by weather forecasters.

Hurricane Watch - A hurricane is possible within 36 hours. Stay tuned for additional advisories.

Hurricane Warning - A hurricane is expected within 24 hours. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately.

  1. Listen for local radio or television weather forecasts. Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio with a warning alarm tone and battery back-up.
  2. Ask your local emergency management office about community evacuation plans and whether your neighborhood would be told to evacuate. Learn evacuation routes. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
  3. Talk to your family about hurricanes. Plan a place to meet your family in case you are separated from one another in a disaster. Choose an out-of-state contact for everyone to call to say they are okay.
  4. Determine the needs of family members who may live elsewhere but need your help in a hurricane. Consider the special needs of neighbors.
  5. Prepare to survive on your own for at least three days. Assemble a disaster supplies kit. Include a battery-powered radio, flashlights, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, blankets, clothing and food and water.
  6. Make plans to protect your property. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8" marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
  7. Know how to shut off utilities. Know where gas pilots are located and how the heating and air conditioning system works.
  8. Have your home inspected for compliance with local building codes. Many of the roofs destroyed by hurricanes were destroyed because they were not constructed according to building codes.
  9. Consider flood insurance. Purchase insurance well in advance. There is normally a five-day waiting period before flood insurance takes effect.
  10. Make a record of your personal property. Take photographs of or videotape your belongings
Hurricane Season