A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone which forms over a tropical ocean. Although the official hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30, they can occur at any time.

Hurricane Facts

The word "hurricane" is derived from colonial Spanish and Caribbean words meaning evil spirits and big winds. Hurricanes are considered the most powerful force on earth.

Coastal flooding caused by storm surge is the greatest threat to life and property. A storm surge is a large dome of water often 50 to 100 miles wide that sweeps across the coastline where the hurricane makes landfall. The surge of water topped by waves is devastating.

Hurricane-force winds, 74 miles per hour (MPH) or more, can destroy buildings and down power lines near the coast and well inland.

Hurricanes bring heavy rains which can cause significant river and inland flooding. Hurricanes can also produce tornadoes, which can add to their destructive power.

Hurricanes Are Classified on the Safir-Simpson Scale

  • Category 1: 74 to 95 MPH
  • Category 2: 96 to 110 MPH
  • Category 3: 111 to 130 MPH
  • Category 4: 131 to 155 MPH
  • Category 5: Greater than 155 MPH
  1. Before a Hurricane
  2. During a Hurricane
  3. After a Hurricane
  • Listen to a battery-operated radio or television for the latest storm information
  • Secure outdoor objects such as lawn furniture that can blow away and cause damage or injury
  • Shutter or board all windows and secure double-door entrances
  • Keep your vehicle's gas tank filled
  • Prepare a hurricane evacuation kit to include:
    • Bottled water
    • First-aid kit
    • Important documents (valid identification, insurance information, and money)
    • Personal items (toys, snacks)
    • Two week supply of medicine, blankets or sleeping bags, extra clothing, pet ID, carrier, food and medication
  • If ordered to evacuate, obey immediately. Turn off gas, water, and electricity, and unplug small appliances
  • Inform family or friends outside of the warning area of your evacuation plans
  • Remember to help neighbors who may require special assistance (infants, senior citizens, and people with disabilities)

Hurricane Watch & Hurricane Warning

A hurricane watch is issued by the National Weather Service when hurricane conditions are possible in the specified watch area usually within 36 hours.

A hurricane warning is issued when hurricane conditions are expected in the specified warning area usually within 24 hours.

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