Hurricanes are a frequent occurrence in the United States. Every year, there are usually 3-6 storms that make landfall. These storms can cause incredible devastation and leave people without power for weeks on end if they hit land during hurricane season. In this blog post, we will discuss what hurricanes are, how they form, and what you should do to prepare for one if it is headed your way!
1. What is a hurricane and how does it form ?
A hurricane is a tropical storm that forms over warm ocean waters. Hurricanes are ranked on the Saffir-Simpson scale from Category I to Category V, which indicates how strong their winds can get and what kind of damage they might cause. A hurricane begins as a depression, which means it has not yet formed its eye or gained strength. As the depression moves over warm water, it begins to form an eye. In this center of a hurricane is where most of its rain falls and winds are at their strongest. The Saffir-Simpson scale also ranks hurricanes by how tall the storm surge will be if they make landfall while still in these initial stages.
The formation process of a hurricane is one that typically starts near the equator and moves towards the poles.
Hurricanes can be very dangerous, even in their early stages before they make landfall. People who live near warm ocean waters are at risk for hurricanes to form nearby! If you ever see a storm system like this forming over water, then it might become a hurricane.
Be sure to have an emergency kit ready if you live in a hurricane-prone area! When the storm is still far away, fill up your car with gas and bring extra food items that don’t need to be cooked or refrigerated. A radio will also come in handy for weather updates so everyone knows what is happening during the storm
2. The different types of hurricanes
The different types of hurricanes are tropical storms, typhoons, and cyclones. These names all refer to the same type of storm system but they have different names depending on where in the world you are located! Hurricanes that form over North America are called hurricanes while those that form near Australia are called typhoons.
Tropical Storms/Hurricanes: A tropical storm is the smallest type of hurricane, but it can still cause damage. Winds in a tropical storm are between 39-73 mph (63 -117 km/h). These storms usually last no more than three days and they make landfall several times during that period of time
The second level on the Saffir–Simpson scale is called a typhoon. Typhoons are hurricanes that form over the Pacific Ocean or northern Indian Ocean. They get this name because they were named after the Chinese word for “big wind.” Typhoon winds range between 74-174 mph (118 -280 km/h).
Cyclones: The third level on the Saffir–Simpson scale is called a cyclone. Cyclones are hurricanes that form over the southern Indian Ocean or southwestern Pacific Ocean east of 160°E. These types of storms have winds ranging from 75-200 mph (120 – 322 km/h).
3. How to prepare for one if you live in the path of a hurricane
If you live in an area that is prone to hurricanes, then it’s important to prepare yourself before one hits landfall. To protect your home, make sure windows are either boarded up or have hurricane shutters installed. If the storm surge threatens the foundation of your home, move furniture and valuables away from outside walls so they don’t get damaged.
During a hurricane, you’ll want to stay inside and away from windows as much as possible! In the case of a home that has been damaged by strong winds or flooding, FEMA recommends throwing out any food items that have come into contact with flood waters. Even if an item is sealed in its original packaging, don’t take chances and throw it out.
Make sure you have a radio on hand to get weather updates while the hurricane is happening! Another important tool to have around for hurricanes are flashlights so everyone can see inside if the power goes out or in case of an evacuation. You should also have your emergency kit ready, which includes first aid supplies and non-perishable foods.
Hurricanes are very dangerous weather events that can cause property damage and even loss of life! Even though hurricanes have been known to be deadly, there is a lot you can do as a resident in hurricane-prone areas to prepare yourself for one. By being prepared ahead of time with emergency supplies, you’ll feel more at ease during the storm. In case of an evacuation, make sure you have a plan for where to go and how to get there ahead of time.