Prepare for Hurricane Season

Posted by Lori Keroack on Wednesday, May 15th, 2019 at 11:23am.



A hurricane is a tropical cyclone.  When the  maximum sustained surface wind reaches 74 mph or more the tropical cyclone is referred to as a hurricane.  Hurricane winds may be accompanied by storm surge, coastal flooding, and/or river flooding.  The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) compiled six lists of names that they cycle through to name hurricanes.  The names on this years' list are Andrea - Barry - Chantal - Dorian - Erin - Fernand - Gabrielle - Humberto - Imelda - Jerry - Karen - Lorenzo - Melissa - Nestor - Olga - Pablo - Rebekah - Sebastien - Tanya - Van - Wendy.  If a hurricane is particularly deadly or costly, the hurricanes name will be retired from the list.  

Hurricane terms can be very confusing for many people.  A Hurricane Watch indicates the possibility that a region may experience hurricane conditions within 48 hours.  A hurricane watch is issued when a tropical cyclone with winds of 74 mph or higher pose a possible threat.  Hurricane watches are generally issued within 48 hours, however, the watch does not mean that hurricane conditions are inevitable.  A hurricane watch simply means that hurricane conditions are possible.  Hurricane Warnings are issued when sustained winds of 74 mph or higher associated with a tropical cyclone are expected in 36 hours or less.  A hurricane warning may remain in effect when dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and exceptionally high waves continue even when winds fall below hurricane status.  Hurricane warnings are issued by National Hurricane Center (NHC) 36 hours in advance of tropical storm force winds to allow enough time for preparation.  Hurricanes are rated according to intensity of sustained winds using the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale to estimate potential property damage.  The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale rates hurricanes from 1 - 5 with major hurricanes starting at category 3. 

Storm surge and flooding are two very dangerous aspects that occur during and after a hurricane.  Storm surge is the abnormal rise of water generated by a storm's wind and is the leading cause of hurricane related deaths in the United States.  Storm surge waves cause deadly rip currents, significant beach erosion, and massive destruction in coastal areas.  Storm surge can travel several miles inland, especially along bays, rivers, and estuaries.  Flooding due to heavy rains is the second leading cause of fatalities from tropical cyclones.  Inland flooding occurs because of torrential rains, strong wind, rip currents, and large waves.  Floods may last for days after a hurricane dissipates.  Inland and coastal areas feel the effects of a hurricane so it is wise to identify your risks so that you can plan accordingly.  Researching your evacuation zone, evacuation route, and shelter locations in advance will provide valuable information to help you plan your emergency evacuation plan. 

Hurricane preparedness is a very important component in your families safety during a hurricane.  It is recommended that you have a three day supply of food and water per person and pet.  When planning your Hurricane Emergency Kit, keep each person's specific needs, including medications, in mind when preparing your supplies.  Don't forget about the pets - they have needs too.  It's helpful to to do certain tasks early in order to avoid long lines and depleted inventory.  Fill your prescriptions, top off your gas tank, and make sure that you have plenty of chargers and extra batteries on hand for cell phones and emergency radios.  FEMA published How to Prepare for a Hurricane brochure and it provides a wealth of information to help you plan for a hurricane so that you keep you and your loved ones safe. 



Lori Keroack is the Business Office Manager of Mizner Residential Realty. Lori recently moved to Delray Beach from Connecticut. She is enjoying learning about her new home town and the surrounding areas by researching and blogging about various topics that are relevant to the area.

- Lori Keroack, Business Office Manager - Mizner Residential Realty

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