Hurricanes

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Hurricane
(PDF File of this Page)
There are no other storms like hurricanes on Earth. Views of hurricanes from satellites located thousands of miles above the Earth show how these powerful, tightly coiled weather systems are unique. Each year, on average, 10 tropical storms (of which six become hurricanes) develop over the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, or Gulf of Mexico. Many of these storms remain over the ocean. However, an average of five hurricanes strike the United States coastline every three years. Of these five, two will be major hurricanes, which are storms of category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson scale, which corresponds to hurricanes with winds at or above 111 miles per hour.

Timely warnings have greatly diminished hurricane fatalities in the United States. In spite of this, property damage continues to mount. There is little we can do about the hurricanes themselves. However, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) Tropical Prediction Center and National Weather Service (NWS) field offices team up with other federal, state, and local agencies; rescue and relief organizations; the private sector; and the news media in a huge warning and preparedness effort.

What Are Hurricanes, and What Causes Them?

Awareness Information

Plan for a Hurricane

Develop a Family Disaster Plan. Please see the "Family Disaster Plan" section for general family planning information. Hurricane-specific planning should include the following:

If you are at risk from hurricanes:

Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit

Please see the section "Disaster Supplies Kit" for general supplies kit information. Hurricane-specific supplies should include the following:

How to Protect Your Property

Media and Community Education Ideas

What to Do During a Hurricane WATCH

What to Do During a Hurricane WARNING

What to Do if Evacuation Is Necessary

What to Do After a Hurricane

Use the telephone only for emergency calls. Telephone lines are frequently overwhelmed in disaster situations. They need to be clear for emergency calls to get through. Produced by the National Disaster Education Coalition: American Red Cross, FEMA, IAEM, IBHS, NFPA, NWS, USDA/CSREES, and USGS. HTML formating By the Disaster Center

From: Talking About Disaster: Guide for Standard Messages. Produced by the National Disaster Education Coalition, Washington, D.C., 1999.


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