Having a deep respect for hurricanes isn't just for those who live in Florida or along the Gulf Coast. It is for everyone living within 200 miles of any coast line.
Hurricanes may have a diameter of 400 to 500 miles. The "eye" (center) of a hurricane can be up to 20 miles across. When they move from sea to land, they pack such a tremendous force, they surge with enormous waves and drop heavy rain.
A hurricane can produce winds higher than 155 miles per hour. They can also generate tornadoes.
One of my friends grew up in Florida and her family dealt with the threat of these monster storms at least once or twice a year. Although they are extremely dangerous, she has some fond memories of sleep overs with her cousins at her grandma's house.
Her grandma was always prepared.
The worst storm she can remember was Hurricane Andrew back in 1992. My friend's mother, who still lives in south Florida to this day, lived through this horrific event and was devastated with the loss of everything she owned. She will be the first person to tell you that the people who were prepared with emergency supplies suffered far less than those who did not prepare.
Hurricane Risk Factors
Their storm 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.
Extensive damage to trees, towers, water and underground utility lines (from uprooted trees), and fallen poles cause considerable disruption.
High-rise buildings are also vulnerable to storm-force winds, particularly at the higher levels since wind speed tends to increase with height. Recent research suggests you should stay below the tenth floor, but still above any floors at risk for flooding. It is not uncommon for high-rise buildings to suffer a great deal of damage due to windows being blown out. Consequently, the areas around these buildings can be very dangerous.
Homes, businesses, public buildings, and infrastructure may be damaged or destroyed by many different storm hazards.
- Debris can break windows and doors, allowing high winds and rain inside the home. In extreme storms (such as Hugo, Andrew and Katrina), the force of the wind alone can cause immense devastation, as trees and power lines come crashing down and weak elements of homes and buildings fail.
- Roads and bridges can be washed away and homes saturated by storm surges and flooding.
- Destructive tornadoes can also form well away from the storm's center.
- Yet, storm surge alone poses the highest threat to life and destruction in many coastal areas - and the surges and extend inland for a long way.
Hurricanes and tropical storms generally can be tracked days ahead of any impact, providing ample time to prepare. A hurricane disaster kit can easily be and be readied for potential evacuation.
Being prepared now will make an evacuation easier on you and your family. You can take steps to protect yourself and your home as much as possible from damage by taking steps NOW - before something happens.
Here is a page about Hurricane Safety which will provide you with a HUGE AMOUNT of information that can keep you and your family safe. Being prepared is the KEY!
The disaster recovery process is not easy, as the people who have experienced a major disaster can attest too, but it is possible to recover, rebuild and move on. Click the link above to learn more about things you can do now that will help you later when going through the disaster recovery process.
There are many disaster-aid-organizations that specialize in disaster relief and recovery that you can contact for assistance if needed. Print off this list and keep it with your disaster survival supplies in the event you need someone to contact for assistance.