Hurricane season is here and it’s time to to get prepared. Check out these 10 facts and everything else you need to know to stay safe.
Hurricanes (or typhoons, maybe even a tropical cyclone) are always going to be something nature lays upon our planet. Tornadoes have much stronger winds than hurricanes, but that doesn’t mean they should be taken lightly. Hurricanes have the ability to engulf up to half of the United States at once. Additionally, they also have the ability to sustain their maximum amount of power for multiple days on end. The flooding rains are bad enough, but there’s also the other damages that hurricanes can do to your community.
10 Hurricane Facts
1. It’s Not Just a Rain Storm
There’s an abundance of snow and ice in hurricanes – most of the time people are lead to believe that it’s just wind and water being blow around. The fact of the matter is that the “hot towers” of a hurricane can climb all the way up to the stratosphere, which then freezes the moisture (producing ice and snow). People whom have been in a hurricane for themselves will notice a hazy sky before the actually storm sets in, which happens about a day beforehand.
2. They Breathe and Blink
The eye of a hurricane closes and opens as if it were a human eye blinking. The eyewall replacement cycles call for the hurricane eye to shrink and then regrow. Thus, it looks like its blinking! For the breathing aspect, it just looks like its switching the direction in which wind is being pushed (very rapidly, and multiple times). It’s almost as if they are alive!
3. They Register on Seismographs
Seismographs are used to check the intensity of earthquakes underwater, but they can also detect hurricanes. These massive storms can produce water waves that are so heavy they actually register a rating on seismographs, and sometimes it’s how people can track an incoming hurricane (sometimes by accident). Think of the movie “Pacific Rim”.
4. It Isn’t Exactly Known Why They Happen
No one is actually sure why they happen or how they exist. Scientists think that it’s because of the moist and warm air over the ocean rising. This then creates a “crater” pertaining to low air pressure. Air continuously flows into that crater and the pressure builds until it becomes unbearable. A tropical depression is created and eventually a tropical storm comes to life.
5. The Sahara Desert Keeps Atlantic Hurricanes Powerful
This desert is literally in the perfect position to keep the air near the equator in check and not in a good way. This is because you mix the incredibly hot air of the desert with the cooler winds of surrounding regions, and that’s essentially how hurricanes form. If this desert wasn’t here there probably wouldn’t be such a consistent flow of hurricanes in the Atlantic region.
6. They Release an Incredibly Large Amount of Energy
These storms release massive amounts of energy. When there’s so much air and moisture being expelled in one event it’s going to give off some energy. One hurricane has the ability to conduct about 200 times the earths electrical energy?
7. There are Limits To a Hurricane
Hurricanes can get pretty violent, but they have to have limitations. The rules of physics wouldn’t allow for a hurricane to go past certain parameters. The Coriolis effect forces them to rotate a specific direction. Not only that, but it forces them to stop moving once they’ve reached the equator, they actually can’t break that barrier. It’s a good thing they have limits, otherwise we could be hit with much more fatal hurricanes.
8. Australian Hurricanes Do a Loop
Hurricanes have a tendency to just go with the flow. This means they move with the global wind belt they’re currently sitting on. Australian hurricanes are known to change direction sporadically, and are the most intriguing hurricanes you could be faced with. As if Australia wasn’t spooky enough with all of those creatures, the hurricanes are unpredictable.
9. Hurricanes Bring on Tornadoes
When a hurricane makes contact with land its a rotating storm system coming into contact with a solid object. The tornadoes that ensue aren’t always going to be that intense, as they can never be stronger than a EF2 (on the Enhanced Fujita scale). Almost every single hurricane that has hit the United States has resulted in tornadoes, and storm experts claim that it’s a damaged hurricane eyewall that causes this.
10. They Can Mutate and Get Even More Intense
As if hurricanes weren’t terrifying enough they actually can change and mutate. When a hurricane comes into contact with temperature differences there’s going to be a lasting effect, and sometimes it can actually make the hurricane fizzle out. They also have heat reservoirs that they can make use of whenever intensity is dying down, so it almost seems like hurricanes have a mind of their own.
How To Prepare For a Hurricane
These mega storms are not only scary, they can be truly devastating. Many coastal areas of the United States have been severely damaged from hurricanes. Some of these places are still recovering years after the initial storm. Summer rolls around every year and so does hurricane season. It is important to be well prepared and stay safe during these wild and sometimes unpredictable storms.
Here is how you can prepare yourself:
1. Before The Hurricane
- Have an emergency plan – evacuation plan, emergency kit, safe place for family, include your pets into all plans, practice the plan.
- Listen to local news and weather reports.
- Hurricane Watch – hurricane is possible in your area
- Hurricane Warning – It is occurring or will be in your area soon
- Trim dead tree branches or cut down dead trees to reduce danger and damages.
- Be ready to move in-land or to higher ground
- Prepare for power outages with food, water, medications, batteries etc.
2. During the Storms
- Be ready and prepared to evacuate
- Stay informed – listen to local news and warnings
- Secure everything on the property – furniture or decorations that can be blown away and cause damage
- close windows and doors with shutters or board up windows with plywood
- Turn around, Don’t Drown – avoid walking or driving through flooded areas
- Do not go on a boat during a storm – if you are on a boat immediately head for shore.
- Evacuate if advised – watch for flooded roads or washed out bridges
- When in the eye of the storm there will be a lull of wind that can last for up to half an hour. Do not go outside, stay safe on the main floor and avoid the basement. When the eye passes the winds will come from the opposite direction.
3. After The Hurricane
- Listen to radio or local news.
- Stay alert for more rain and flooding.
- Stay prepared for secondary disasters – flooding, landslides or building damages.
- Make sure it is safe before leaving or entering your home.
- Avoid damaged areas, fallen power lines and debris.
- Do not consume water that may be contaminated.
- Examine walls, windows, doors and staircases for damages.
- Take pictures of all damages for insurance claims.
- Talk to local authority on how to dispose of damaged items properly.
Stay safe during a big storm, always have an emergency plan with an emergency kit. Don’t forget to include your pets into your plans!