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A Hurricane Overview

How Hurricanes Form
Hurricanes need warm tropical oceans, moisture and light winds above them. If the right conditions last long enough, a hurricane can produce violent winds, incredible waves, torrential rains and floods.


Plan For Evacuation

Discuss what to do in an evacuation with everyone in your family. Know where you will go if an evacuation is called. Review at least two exit routes from your home or neighborhood to a designated meeting place for your family. Don’t forget about your pets. Pets are not allowed at most public shelters.

Hurricanes rotate in a counterclockwise direction around an “eye.” Hurricanes have winds of at least 74 miles per hour. There are on average six Atlantic hurricanes each year; over a three-year period, approximately five hurricanes strike the United States coastline from Texas to Maine.

Tropical Depression
A tropical depression is an organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 38 mph.

Tropical Storm
A tropical storm is an organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 39-73 mph.

When a Hurricane Strikes
When hurricanes move onto land, the heavy rain, strong winds and heavy waves can damage buildings, trees and cars. The heavy waves are called a storm surge. Storm surge is very dangerous and a major reason why you MUST stay away from the ocean during a hurricane warning or hurricane.

Credit: Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, Inc.