Is your family prepared?
It is that time of year again. Hurricane Season runs from June 1st until November 30th. But there have already been two named storms: Hurricane Alex, the first Atlantic hurricane to form in January since 1938 was never a threat to the U.S. and Tropical Storm Bonnie that drenched the Carolina coastline over the Memorial Day weekend.
Being prepared is important for every family and business. That means having a hurricane safety plan, because it is never if a hurricane will hit Texas, but when.
The hurricane experts at the Colorado State University's Department of Atmospheric Science are predicting a near-average hurricane season, with the formation of 13 named storms, including six hurricanes that could threaten the U.S. coastline or the Caribbean.The CSU scientists say there is a 50% of one major storm, with sustained winds of 111 mph or higher, the U.S.
In an average Atlantic hurricane season. there are 12 named storms, six of which become hurricanes and two major hurricanes of category 3 or higher.
Storms are named when they are designated a tropical storm, with minimum sustained winds of 39 mph. When windspeeds reach 74 mph, the storm gains hurricane status.
The Dangers of Hurricanes
Hurricanes have a number of jeopardizing effects when they make landfall, the most common being wind speed and flooding. Even a category one can have winds of 74-95 mph. More severe hurricanes can be slow moving, causing flash flooding in low-lying areas. Hurricanes can also produce tornadoes. The more intense the hurricane is, the more likely that it will produce multiple tornadoes. The most terrifying effect of a hurricane is the storm surge. A surging large dome of water, often 50-100 miles wide, can sweep along the coastline when a hurricane makes landfall. Coastline areas are most vulnerable to storm surges and should take the highest precautions.
|What is the difference between a tropical depression, a tropical storm, and a hurricane?
|A tropical depression is an organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined
counterclockwise circulation and maximum sustained wind speeds of 38mph or less.
A tropical storm is an organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined circulation
and maximum sustained wind speeds of 39-73mph. At this stage, the storm is now given a name.
A hurricane is an intense tropical weather system with a clear defined circulation and maximum
wind speeds of 74mph or higher.
2016 Atlantic Storm Names & Information
Important Hurricane Facts
How to Prepare
- All hurricanes begin in a warm, moist atmosphere over tropical ocean waters
- A typical hurricane can dump 6-12 inches of rain across a region
- The most violent winds and heaviest rains take place inside the eye wall, the ring of clouds and thunderstorms closely surrounding the eye of the storm
- Every second, a large hurricane releases the energy of ten atomic bombs
- Hurricanes are the only weather disasters that are given their own names
- Slower moving hurricanes produce more rainfall and can cause more damage than faster moving, more powerful hurricanes
- The storm surge of the hurricane produces more casualties than the wind or rain.
The Differences between Watches and Warnings
- Inventory your property. A video camera works wonders for insurance purposes. Remember flood insurance will not go into effect until 30 days after your purchase.
- Keep all trees and shrubbery trimmed. Winds in excess of 55 mph can blow large branches right off the tree and into your home.
- Store all legal and important documents in a safe, easily moved container to take with you if you must evacuate.
- Acquire a NOAA Weather Radio. One of the most important tools of the hurricane season, the NOAA radio broadcasts up-to-date weather reports, evacuation routes, and other pertinent information.
- ALWAYS know you county’s evacuation plans and routes. Know what roads to use ahead of time so you will not be stuck in traffic during an evacuation.
- Keep an emergency kit that includes the basics such as bottled water, a flashlight, batteries, first aid kit, pocket knife, candles, matches, sanitary supplies, etc…
When your area has been issued a hurricane WATCH
When your area has been issued a hurricane WARNING
- Fuel all family vehicles in case of immediate evacuation
- Store away all outdoor lawn furnishings, toys, or other loose objects around your property
- Double check your food supplies just in case of prolonged power outings
- Make sure you have sufficient bottled water on hand
- Prepare to board up all windows/doors to minimize wind damage, if necessary
- STAY TUNED to local weather broadcasts
- Complete preparation activities including supply check, boarding up windows, and storing outside objects
- Stay inside at all times
- If ordered to evacuate, DO IT
- When evacuating, make sure you know where you are going, inform friends and family members, and if the area is going to be safe
- If evacuating, disconnect all utilities such as small appliances, phones, gas lines, and electricity as an added precaution against damages
- STAY TUNED to local weather broadcasts for up-to-date weather information, shelter areas, and emergency broadcasts
Helpful Links for Hurricane Season
Red Cross' Hurricane Safety and Checklist
Center for Disease Control Hurricane Center
National Hurricane Center
Red Cross evacuation routes by county
http://www.txdot.gov/travel/hurricane.htm - Texas Department of Transportation evacuation routes
http://www.fema.gov/hazard/hurricane/index.shtm - FEMA hurricane website