Hurricane Tracker- How to Stay Safe This Hurricane Season
With hurricane season upon us, it’s important to be prepared and know what to do in case a storm is heading our way. Hurricane Tracker is a free app that can help you stay up to date on the latest hurricane information and help you track storms as they move. The app also includes safety tips and evacuation information so you can be prepared in case of an emergency.
What is a Hurricane?
A hurricane is a large, rotating storm that forms over warm ocean waters and often moves toward land. Hurricanes bring damaging winds, heavy rains, storm surges, and flooding. Stay safe this hurricane season by tracking storms and knowing what to do if one threatens your area.
Types of Hurricanes:
There are three main types of hurricanes: tropical storms, which have maximum sustained winds of 73 mph (118 km/h); hurricanes, which have maximum sustained winds of at least 74 mph (119 km/h); and major hurricanes, which have maximum sustained winds of at least 111 mph (179 km/h).
Tropical storms are relatively weak and cause moderate damage. Hurricanes are much more destructive and can cause extensive damage to homes, buildings, and infrastructure. Major hurricanes are the most dangerous and can cause catastrophic damage.
All three types of hurricane can cause storm surge, which is a large wall of water that is pushed ashore by the storm’s winds. Storm surge can cause flooding and damage to coastal areas. It is one of the most dangerous aspects of a hurricane and can be life-threatening.
There are five categories of hurricanes, with Category 3 and above considered major hurricanes. The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is used to classify hurricane intensity. The scale starts at Category 1, meaning wind speeds of 74-95 mph (119-153 km/h). A Category 5 hurricane has wind speeds of 157 mph (253 km/h) or higher.
How to Stay Safe:
Before the Hurricane:
As a hurricane approaches, it is important to take steps to protect yourself and your property. Follow these tips to stay safe:
- Stay informed. Monitor local news or the National Weather Service for updates on the hurricane’s path and anticipated impacts.
- Prepare an emergency kit. Include items such as water, food, first-aid supplies, medications, a flashlight, batteries, money and important documents.
- Make a plan. Know how you will evacuate if necessary and where you will go. Choose an out-of-state friend or relative as your emergency contact.
- Secure your property. Bring in loose items from outside and secure any items that cannot be brought inside. If time permits, elevate furniture and appliances to reduce flood damage.
- Fill up your gas tank and charge your cell phone in case of power outages.
- Follow the instructions of local officials. Evacuate if ordered to do so.
During the Hurricane
- Listen to local officials and evacuate if asked to do so.
- If you are not in an area that is being evacuated, find a safe room in your home. This could be a basement, storm cellar, or an interior room on the lowest level of your home.
- Bring in loose outdoor items, such as lawn furniture, toys, and grills. This will prevent them from becoming dangerous projectiles during the storm.
- Secure your windows and doors with plywood or hurricane shutters.
- Turn off utilities if instructed to do so by local officials.
- Unplug small appliances to reduce the risk of electrical shock when power is restored.
- Fill your car’s gas tank in case you need to evacuate quickly.
- Keep your phone charged so you can receive emergency alerts and stay in touch with loved ones
- After the Hurricane
Once the worst of the storm has passed, it’s important to take steps to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you. Here are some tips for after a hurricane:
- Listen to local radio or television stations for updates from officials. Do not venture outside until you have been given the all-clear by authorities.
- If your home has been damaged, be careful when entering. Wear proper protective gear, such as a hard hat, gloves, and sturdy shoes.
- Do not use gas-powered generators indoors or in enclosed spaces – they give off deadly carbon monoxide gas.
- Do not drink tap water until you have been told it is safe to do so – water may be contaminated after a hurricane.
- Stay away from beaches – there may be hidden damage, such as downed power lines, that you can’t see.
As we conclude this season’s hurricane tracker, we want to remind everyone to stay safe. Hurricanes can be very dangerous and destructive, so it’s important to be prepared. We encourage you to review our tips on how to stay safe during a hurricane, and remember to have a plan in place in case of an emergency.