Know Your Hurricane Facts and Prepare for the Storm
June 12, 2023
When it comes to hurricanes, it’s essential to understand the facts and standard terms used during forecasts. Storm conditions can vary in intensity, size, and angle, so it’s crucial to comprehend what forecasters and news reporters are telling you.
Types of Tropical Cyclones and Key Terms
Tropical Depressions: Cyclones with winds of 38 mph
Tropical Storms: Wind speeds ranging from 39-73 mph
Hurricanes: Winds of 74 mph or greater
The most intense part of a hurricane is typically the upper right quadrant of the storm, surrounding the eye. The primary threats are damaging winds, storm surges, and flooding.
Important terms you may hear:
Tropical Storm Watch: Tropical storm conditions are possible in the area.
Hurricane Watch: Hurricane conditions are possible in the area. Watches are issued 48 hours in advance of anticipated tropical storm-force winds.
Tropical Storm Warning: Tropical storm conditions are expected in the area.
Hurricane Warning: Hurricane conditions are expected in the area. Warnings are issued 36 hours in advance of tropical storm-force winds.
Eye: The clear, sometimes well-defined center of the storm with calmer conditions.
Eye Wall: Surrounding the eye contains the most severe weather of the storm, with the highest wind speed and largest precipitation.
Rain Bands: Bands produce severe weather conditions such as heavy rain, wind, and tornadoes.
Storm Surge: A deadly result of ocean water swelling due to a landfalling storm, quickly flooding coastal and sometimes areas further inland.
Predicting a tropical cyclone’s path can be challenging due to various global and local factors. The National Hurricane Center provides the most up-to-date information on tropical cyclone developments, forecasts, and weather alerts.
Hurricane names are picked randomly, rotated, and recycled every 6 years. Catastrophic or severely deadly and costly hurricanes have their names retired.
Create a kit of supplies you can take if you are forced to evacuate or use if you lose power. Recommended items include:
Non-perishable food (enough for at least 3 days)
Water (enough for at least 3 days)
First-aid kit (including any prescription medication)
Personal hygiene and sanitation items
Flashlights (with extra batteries)
Battery-operated radio (with extra batteries)
Waterproof container with cash and essential documents
Manual can opener
Lighter or matches
Books, magazines, and games for recreation
Special needs items: pet supplies and baby supplies, if applicable
Cooler and ice packs
Evacuation and family communication plan
Securing Your Home
Know how to secure your home in the event of damaging winds, storm surges, and flooding:
Cover all windows with hurricane shutters or wood.
Secure straps or clips to fasten your roof to the structure of your home.
Trim trees and shrubs and clear rain gutters.
Reinforce garage doors.
Bring in all outdoor furniture and objects not tied down.
Stay away from windows and doors during strong winds.
In the event of a power outage, ensure you have a full tank of gas, extra cash, charged cell phones, and a plan to stay cool. Fill bathtubs and containers with water for washing and flushing. Adjust your fridge temperature and freeze food and water if necessary. Check out the CDC’s guide on staying safe during a power outage: Power Outages
Remember, any severe storm can be deadly and destructive. Prepare ahead of time, listen to the directions of officials, secure your home, and know how to proceed safely during the aftermath.
Jason joined Wrights in 2018, and leverages decades of experience as a business leader in both B2C and B2B markets, with a wealth of experience in marketing, management, and technology. Before joining Wrights, Jason had significant Client, Consulting, and Agency experience from blue chips to start-ups – working across national and global roles. Originally from the UK, Jason has executive education from the London School of Economics and Oxford University’s Saïd Business School.