Hurricanes are violent tropical storms and generally happen between the months of June and November, with September the most common month for these storms. Those who winter in the South (snowbirds) should be aware that hurricanes frequently occur in the Southeast region of the United States and in the Caribbean as well.
Quick Facts on Hurricanes
A hurricane is a tropical storm in which the winds rotate around a low-pressure storm center, called the eye of the hurricane.
The eye of the hurricane varies in size. In the eye of the hurricane is peaceful, non-violent weather. If the eye of the hurricane is passing over your area, it will not even seem like a storm is present.
Around the eye are the most violent, strong winds of the hurricane. This is called the “eye wall”. These winds can reach upwards of 74 mph and can be accompanied by torrential rains.
Hurricanes cause more damage than tornadoes as they can be much larger (some can have a diameter of 620 miles!)
One of the most destructive parts of a hurricane can be the storm surge that accompanies it, which can lead to severe flooding.
What To Do During a Hurricane
Often, hurricanes can be predicted one or two days in advance.
Most of the time, hurricanes move slowly and will remain in one area for several hours.
During hurricane season (Jun-Nov), pay attention to the weather reports and warnings.
If a hurricane warning has been issued, follow these safety guidelines during the next storm.
If you live near the ocean or in a lowland area, you should try to move more inland or to higher ground. Offshore winds can create immense waves that can become tidal waves or storm surge when they reach the shore.
Be sure to have your emergency kit at the ready and in a portable bag such as a duffel bag or small rolling suitcase.
Never watch the storm from the beach or shore. Most people that are killed by hurricanes are as a result of being swept away by waves, storm surge, or floodwaters.
When the eye of the hurricane is passing over you area, there will be a calm period that can last for a few minutes or up to half an hour. Stay in a safe place and avoid going outdoors. If there is any urgent damage, try to repair it as quickly as possible. Remember that the storm will continue to move and you will be hit by the “other side” of the eye wall – with possibly even stronger winds.
Listen to emergency reports on a portable radio.
If you’re on a farm, it’s better not to enclose your cattle. During Hurricane Andrew (South Florida, 1992) horses that were left outdoor sustained less injuries than those that had been enclosed. Some of the structures had been destroyed by the strong winds and the horses had been injured by the debris, something that could have been avoided had they been left outdoors.
Mobile Homes VS Hurricanes
There are special precautions for those who live in a mobile home.
Position your mobile home near a natural “windbreaker” like a hill or cluster of trees.
Securely fasten the mobile home. You should consult the manufacturer for the best ways to do so.
When the storm approaches, seek coverage in a safer, more sturdy structure.
Remaining in a mobile home during a storm can be more dangerous than being outside.
If you are outside, lay down in a ditch as far away from the mobile home, cars, or any other objects that can be thrown around by the hurricane.