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learn about hurricanes

Hurricanes

Hurricanes and Cyclones are one of nature's most powerful forces, turning warm ocean water into powerful winds capable of mass destruction. Hurricanes' winds are in excess of 74 mph and can potentially reach wind speeds of over 160 mph. They can deliver storm surges and tornadoes and unleash more than 2.4 trillion gallons of rain a day. These same tropical storms are known as cyclones in the northern Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal, and as typhoons in the western Pacific Ocean. The heavy rains brought by these storms not only threaten coastal areas, but they also affect areas hundreds of miles inland. In some cases, flooding occurs days after a storm actually hits shore.

It is important for those in areas that a hurricane's storm surge could flood, and those who live in mobile homes, or houses that might not stand up to a hurricane's winds to evacuate. If you are told to evacuate, you shouldn't hesitate. But, if you are not in an evacuation zone, and your house is sturdy - you might want to get the opinion of a structural engineer or architect about this - you are generally better off sheltering in your home if you have emergency supplies of water, food, and other necessities.

Safety Tips:

  • Coastal residents should form evacuation plans before a warning is issued to identify a safe shelter and a route to get there.
  • Stock up on emergency supplies including food, water, protective clothing, medications, batteries, flashlights, important documents, road maps, and a full tank of gasoline.
  • As a storm unfolds, evacuees should listen to local authorities on radio or television. Evacuation routes often close as a storm develops.
  • Dedicated professionals and improved technology have made hurricane forecasting more accurate than ever beforeóbut itís far from precise.
  • If forced to weather a storm, get inside the most secure building possible and stay away from windows.
  • Remember that a lull often signifies the stormís eyeónot its end. Anyone riding out a hurricane should wait for authorities to announce that the danger has passed.

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