Friday, August 5, 2011

The Hurricane!

Photo courtesy of

Did you know: The term hurricane is derived from Huracan, a god of evil recognized by an ancient tribe from Central America.

Hurricanes form over tropical waters in areas of high humidity, light winds, warm seas surface temperatures (typically 80 degrees Fahrenheit or more), and here in the United States they normally effect the South and East coasts.   

They generally bring heavy rain, dense clouds, strong winds, and heavy thunderstorms that can range from 50-300 miles long!

There are two types of warnings that will be put out before a Hurricane, and those are a Hurricane Watch and a Hurricane Warning.  

A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are a threat within the next 48 hours.  You should review your hurricane plan (if you don't have one, click here!), keep informed, and be ready to act if a warning is issued.

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected within the next 36 hours.  You should complete your storm preparations and leave the area if directed to do so by authorities.   
  • These preparations include:
    • Closing windows, doors, and boarding up the windows and doors with plywood
    • Turning off all propane tanks and small appliances
    • Filling your car's gas tank
    • Turning your fridge and freezers to the coldest settings and keeping them as sealed as possible
      • If the power goes out your food will last longer
    • Bring in all outdoor items that could blow away
    • Make sure your emergency kit is up to date with not expired items inside (click here if you need more information on building an emergency kit)
    • For more information about how to prepare for a hurricane, click here
Here in the United States, we've had several hurricanes hit, including Ike, Wilma, Rita, and of course, Katrina which was one of the most devastating hurricanes to hit since 1928. For more information about these storms or to learn about other hurricanes that have impacted the United States, click here.    

To learn more about how many hurricanes generally make landfall in the United States a year as well as to see the anatomy of a hurricane, click here for more information from the Red Cross!

To get more information about hurricane hazards, forecast, how to prepare, and act, click here to get more information from the National Hurricane Center.

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