I think that in our current reality it is extremely important to know how to protect yourself from a hurricane.
I hope that this article will help you to be prepared.
It’s no secret that the weather became an unpredictable force.
The climatic changes that took place in the past decades made storms more violent and led to the appearance of severe weather phenomenon in areas where they rarely occurred in the past.
In other words, snow fell in the desert while the countries in the northern hemisphere are struggling with fires due to drought and unusually high temperatures.
Thus, hurricanes, among other devastating weather events, became even worse and even started occurring in parts of the world where they weren’t present before.
Having this in mind, it is definitely useful to learn what to do in case of a hurricane.
Besides massive rainfall, hurricanes are notorious for their winds that can catch an incredible force, destroying everything in their way.
What is a hurricane and how is it created?
A hurricane is a kind of tropical storm and it is the worst of all.
It is formed from a tropical storm, with less than 10% of tropical storms developing into a hurricane.
This happens over the warmer parts of the oceans and is particularly prominent in the northern parts of the Atlantic Ocean.
Similar storms are also found in the Pacific, where they are called typhoons.
The storms are moving westward, and when they reach the mainland they drift northward.
Such a storm moves forward in about 10-20 km / h, but the winds are especially strong, moving at speeds of 120 km / h and can reach as high as 300 km / h, as we saw when the storm Irma reached the Caribbean.
How many hurricanes occur a year?
The US has an average of 5 storms, and Asia has more.
Which hurricane was the most destructive in history so far?
It depends on the area where the hurricane hits.
A very powerful hurricane that hits an uninhabited area will be less destructive than a weaker hurricane that hits a populated area.
The storm that struck a few years ago in New Orleans was considered the most difficult because it was a densely populated area – surrounded by dams, which caused flooding. The Philippines had a much worse storm than New Orleans, but there were fewer people there – and of course, the coverage was not as comprehensive as during the New Orleans storm.
In what time of the year do hurricanes develop?
In the northern hemisphere, the United States and Asia, Hurricanes develop in the summer, from August to October, in the southern hemisphere, where hurricanes hit Central and South America and Australia, from February to July.
In case you are living in an area that is on the trajectory of a hurricane and risks suffering damages from it, then it is even more important to be prepared and to know how to protect yourself from a hurricane.
According to specialists, preparations should start before the hurricane season begins. This way, your safety plan will be ready before anything bad happens.
First of all, for those that live in areas where hurricanes do occur, the home should be a structure made to withstand such a storm.
There are several building codes that can be used to make a structure more stable and safe, like using a sturdier structure and shutters specially designed for severe storms.
Regardless if you live in a high-risk area or not, it is always recommended knowing your fastest way out of the area in case of emergency.
It is worth knowing that houses built on coastal areas or in the proximity of coasts are most exposed, as a hurricane usually forms out in the ocean, so the first areas a hurricane will strike will be coastal areas.
Besides knowing a safe way out, it is also recommended to have an emergency kit in handy at all times.
This kit should contain first aid equipment, flashlights and sufficient batteries to supply the flashlights in case of need, a few versatile tools, non-perishable food that can be stored for longer periods, and drinking water.
Although hurricanes are characteristic to tropical areas, because temperatures have increased around the globe, they can appear in other coastal areas as well while the existing hurricanes can get worse.
Learning what to do to withstand them will keep your house and family safe at all times.
When is a tropical storm considered a hurricane?
A tropical storm is considered a hurricane when the depression (low-pressure zone) of the storm reaches 500 km, and when the wind speed is over 120 km / h.
The magnitude of the storm and the degree of damage it can cause when it reaches land are rated from 1 to 5 on the so-called Sapphire Simpson scale.
Storm 5 is strongest, and winds blow faster than 249 mph in this level.
What happens to a hurricane after it reaches land?
When a hurricane reaches the shore, huge tidal waves break into the shore, and heavy rains descend from the storm clouds.
These rains can cause floods in a very short time.
When the center of the storm reaches land, the winds begin to weaken, because the supply of “fuel” (the water vapor from the ocean) to its end stops.
The intensity of the friction with the land surface also slows the progress of the storm. The clouds shower all the rain they have gathered, and within a day or two the hurricane disappears.
How To Protect Yourself From A Hurricane
As mentioned earlier, there are a few things you can do to make sure that your house is resistant enough.
To start with, check to see if there are any weak spots in the house’s hurricane shutters, roof, and other exterior elements, so you can make proper repairs if needed, like checking to see if the sheets of your roof are fastened properly.
Make sure to have a sufficient supply of plastic bags and sheets around the house.
This can be useful for preventing your important documents and even furniture to get wet in case water gets inside the house.
In case you have trees that hang over your house or can fall over power lines, it is recommended to cut down to prevent unwanted damages and dangerous situations.
Securing some fuel reserves, like coal and kerosene can also be useful.
You can keep the coal dry by packing it in plastic bags.
Also, besides first aid equipment, equipment dedicated to bad weather, like raincoats and water-boots can be extremely useful as well.
How to behave when the storm starts
Now that you know how to prepare before a hurricane strikes, let us take a look at what you have to do once a hurricane begins.
The local authorities will launch a warning for extreme weather as soon as the hurricane is spotted forming, so you will know when to get ready.
Once the hurricane reaches your area, do not go out unless you have no other option.
The strong winds brought in by a hurricane will lift items up in the air and there is the high risk of getting hit by such items.
If you have children, take them to a safe area and do not take them outside by any costs.
Due to their reduced weight, they can be carried away by the wind.
In case the hurricane catches you away from home, find a safe area and stay there until the hurricane is over.
In most cases, people lost their lives because they tried changing their location during a hurricane.
In case your house, or building where you are, starts showing signs of breakage, it is advisable to find a table or other sturdy piece of furniture where you can hide and take cover.
It is not recommended to stand in the middle of a room, as pieces from the ceiling can break and fall down, so be prepared for this and seek cover in a safe area.
If there are no boards in front of the window, you can use a large piece of furniture or another type of heavy object to cover it and save yourself and love ones from broken glass pieces.
There are special lamps designed to be sturdier so they can be used in case of hurricanes.
Have one of those lamps around and keep it burning, as it may make the night a bit more bearable.
Also, have a radio station in handy so you can hear what’s going on outside.
Once the hurricane is over, wear closed shoes outside because the debris can injure your feet.
If there’s anyone injured, seek medical help immediately.
If you see any issues like fallen power lines, broken sewers, broken water pipes, and so on, report them at once to the proper companies or authorities.
Boil water if you want to drink it until the water service is restored in the area.
Do not touch fallen power lines and keep your eyes open for broken trees.
You can collect fallen branches and put them in a place from where they can be easily collected.
I hope that I helped you to understand how to protect yourself from a hurricane.
You can find more interesting information on how to build a storm shelter under your house on our website here.