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Hurricane News & Information

NOAA predicts active 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, May 23, NOAA News. For the six-month hurricane season, which begins June 1, NOAA's Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook says there is a 70 percent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 7 to 11 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). These ranges are well above the seasonal average of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.

Hurricane & Flood Resources

Hurricane Health & Safety Tips


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Understanding Tropical Weather Warnings

NACHC Prep Tips - July 29, 2011. Understand the terms used and know when you need to pay attention to the storms in your area. Source: National Hurricane Center.

  • Hurricane / Typhoon: A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind is 74 mph or more. The term hurricane is used for Northern Hemisphere tropical cyclones east of the International Dateline to the Greenwich Meridian. The term typhoon is used for Pacific tropical cyclones north of the Equator west of the International Dateline.
  • Hurricane Warning: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds. Hurricane Watch: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within the specified area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds. Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale: The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 categorization based on the hurricane's intensity at the indicated time. The scale provides examples of the type of damage and impacts in the United States associated with winds of the indicated intensity. The following table shows the scale broken down by winds:
  • CategoryWind Speed/mphDamage
    5> 155Catastrophic damage will occur
    4131 - 155Catastrophic damage will occur
    3111 - 130Devastating damage will occur
    296 - 110Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage
    174 - 95Very dangerous winds will produce some damage
  • Tropical Cyclone: A warm-core non-frontal synoptic-scale cyclone, originating over tropical or subtropical waters, with organized deep convection and a closed surface wind circulation about a well-defined center. Once formed, a tropical cyclone is maintained by the extraction of heat energy from the ocean at high temperature and heat export at the low temperatures of the upper troposphere. In this they differ from extratropical cyclones, which derive their energy from horizontal temperature contrasts in the atmosphere (baroclinic effects).
  • Tropical Depression: A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed is 38 mph or less.
  • Tropical Storm: A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed ranges from 39 mph to 73 mph.
  • Tropical Storm Warning: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected somewhere within the specified area within 36 hours.
  • Tropical Storm Watch: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified area within 48 hours.

Personal Preparedness

Be pro-active around your facilities:

  • Clear clogged rain gutters; hurricanes/tropical storms often bring torrential rain; providing clear drainage will help prevent misdirected flooding
  • Bring in outdoor items to bring inside - lawn furniture, trash barrels, toys and awnings that can be broken or picked up by strong winds
  • Make sure storage sheds, children's playhouses or other outbuildings are securely anchored, either to a permanent foundation or with straps and ground anchors
  • Trim back trees and shrubbery; remove diseased or damaged tree limbs that could be blown down, causing damage, during a storm
  • Elevate items in lower-level areas that could be damaged from even minor flooding

Personal tips:

  • Keep your vehicles fully fueled
  • Have a certain amount of cash available; if power is lost, ATMs may not be working
  • Make a record of your personal property; keep an itemized list of your furniture, clothing and valuables to assist adjusters in case of a claim; back it up with photographs or video
  • Protect your insurance policies and other important documents in a secure place like a safe deposit box or a watertight box; many people back up important documents online

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Out in the Rural -
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Out in the Rural