There are 5 main hazards associated with hurricanes (also called typhoons or cyclones):
1. Storm surge – Storm surge is simply water that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds swirling around the storm. This advancing surge combines with the normal tides to create the hurricane storm tide, which can increase the mean water level 15 feet or more.
2. Marine hazards – Hurricanes have been the cause of many maritime disasters involving vessels at sea or in port.
3. High winds – Hurricane-force winds can easily destroy poorly constructed buildings and mobile homes. Debris such as signs, roofing material, and small items left outside become flying missiles in hurricanes.
4. Inland flooding – In the 1970s, '80s, and '90s, inland flooding was responsible for more than half of the deaths associated with tropical cyclones in the United States.
5. Tornadoes – Hurricanes can also produce tornadoes that add to the storm's destructive power. Wind speeds in tornadoes can exceed 300 mph (500 km/hr). (See the Tornadoes page for more on tornadoes.)
(For more details on each of the above points, see the hurricane survival information at the U.S. National Huricane Center.)
Evacuation planning: If a hurricane is coming your way, you may be ordered to evacuate. Do some pre-planning, so that when this happens you already have a plan of where to go, where to stay, and what to do before you leave. For more details, see http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes
Staying Home: If you live in a sound structure outside the evacuation area, and do not live in a mobile home, stay home and take these precautions:
What to do Before a Hurricane
To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures:
Hurricane Floyd - Courtesy of NASA - http://visibleearth.nasa.gov
What to do During a Hurricane
If a hurricane is likely in your area, you should:
You should evacuate under the following conditions:
If you are unable to evacuate, go to your safe room. If you do not have one, follow these guidelines:
Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
What to do After a Hurricane Typically, more deaths occur after a hurricane than during. These deaths come from people being too anxious to get outside and survey the damage Â– where they come into contact with downed power lines or unstable trees, etc. Follow these suggestions for staying safe after the hurricane:
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