What is a Hurricane?
A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone, which is a generic term for a low pressure system that generally forms in the tropics. The cyclone is accompanied by thunderstorms and, in the Northern Hemisphere, a counterclockwise circulation of winds near the earth's surface. Tropical cyclones are classified as follows:
An organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds* of 38 mph (33 kt**) or less
An organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 39-73 mph (34-63 kt)
An intense tropical weather system of strong thunderstorms with a well-defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 kt) or higher.
Before The Storm
- Be ready to put your plan and preparation into action.
- Pay attention to local weather reports on radio, television, or the internet.
- Have house boarded up, or have storm shutters in place.
- Have plenty of food and water.
- Make sure all your tools, supplies, and first aid kit available for use.
- Have a secure room available.
- Secure loose items around your yard by bringing them indoors.
- Stock up on water prior to the season for your family to avoid the rush at the last minute. Figure two to five gallons per day, per person depending on any special needs (three day supply minimum)
- Stock up on non-perishable food and canned meats as well (three day supply minimum)
- Stock up on batteries at the beginning of the season. Remember you will need batteries for flashlights and battery powered radios
- If you do not have flashlights, purchase some
- Battery powered camping lanterns are excellent light sources and much safer than candles
- Contact out-of-state relatives and let them know your hurricane plan. This will provide a point of contact for family members to check on your status
- If you have special needs such as medical devices, oxygen use, or medications, remember to have a plan for those needs as well
- Have several protective tarps available to cover damage to your roof. You will need a ladder, wood strips, nails and a hammer. Cover this damage as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your home
When A Watch Or Warning Is Issued
- Leave low lying areas.
- Protect windows with plywood boards or storm shutters.
- Secure outside objects.
- Make sure you have plenty of fuel and water.
- Have several days supply of food and water for each family member.
- If called to evacuate, do so immediately.
During The Storm
- Stay in a secure room.
- Stay away from windows.
- Do not use the phone, or candles.
- Monitor Weather and Civil Service Bulletins on either regular or NOAA radio.
- Have supplies on hand.
- Remain indoors when the eye moves over your area because the storm will resume shortly.
After The Storm
- Make sure that all is definitely clear outside, and the storm has completely passed before going out.
- Report downed power lines, and stay away from them.
- Use stored water and food.
- Be Patient. Things will take a while before they get back to normal.