Yes, it’s time to prepare for hurricane season

| May 29, 2015 | 0 Comments

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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
News Release

It only takes one storm to change your life and community.

Tropical cyclones are among nature’s most powerful and destructive phenomena. If you live in an area prone to tropical cyclones, you need to be prepared.

Even areas well away from the coastline can be threatened by dangerous flooding, destructive winds and tornadoes from these storms.

The National Hurricane Center issues watches, warnings, forecasts and analyses of hazardous tropical weather.

Hurricane hazards. The primary hazards from hurricanes are storm surge flooding, inland flooding from heavy rains, destructive winds, tornadoes and high surf and rip currents.

While hurricanes pose the greatest threat to life and property, tropical storms and depressions can also be devastating. Flooding from heavy rains can cause extensive damage and loss of life, too.

Storm surge and winds. Storm surge has the potential to cause the largest loss of life in hurricanes. Since 1963, storm surge has caused nearly half of the deaths in the United States in tropical cyclones. Water, not wind, has accounted for nearly 90 percent of all tropical cyclone deaths in the U.S. during that time.

Storm surge is dangerous because a mere six inches of fast-moving floodwater can knock over an adult. It takes only two feet of rushing water to carry away most vehicles –including large pickup trucks and SUVs.

The strong winds of a hurricane can also cause widespread destruction. Strong winds of a tropical cyclone can also cause dangerous waves that pose a significant hazard to mariners and coastal residents and visitors. When the waves break along the coast, they can produce deadly rip currents – even at large distances from the storm.

What should you do to prepare for a hurricane? Get a plan. The most important step is to identify your hurricane risk.

Do you live in an evacuation zone? If so, you need to plan on where you and your family would ride out the storm if told to evacuate. Most people only need to evacuate a few miles from the coast to avoid the dangers of storm surge.

Find a friend or relative that lives outside the storm surge evacuation zone and have a plan to ride out the storm with them. You should also establish a family communications plan in case you are not together when you need to evacuate.

Once a person understands their risk for hurricane impacts, an appropriate disaster safety plan should be developed to help ensure an individual’s and a family’s safety. A disaster safety plan is a comprehensive plan that identifies all of the steps a family needs to take before, during, and after a disaster to ensure maximum personal safety and property protection.

More Online

Need more info?

Vital resources to help you prepare include these:

•Hurricanes.gov, which provides critical hurricane advisories and marine forecasts.

•Weather.gov, for the latest forecasts for your part of the country.

•Ready.gov, for additional preparedness information.

•Coastal residents should go to their local emergency managers for evacuation zone information, which is typically available online. A county-by-county list of evacuation zone resources is available at http://flash.org/hurricane-season/evacuation-zones/Evacuation_Zone_Identification_Survey.pdf.

•Army Hawaii service members and civilians can find information on U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii at http://local.nixle.com/us-army-garrison-hawaii-emergency-response/.

•Download the Red Cross app at redcross.org/apps.

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