A hurricane is a severe tropical storm that forms in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Northeast Pacific Ocean, or the South Pacific Ocean. Hurricanes need warm tropical oceans, moisture and light winds above them. If the right conditions last long enough, a hurricane can produce violent winds, incredible waves, torrential rains and floods. Hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. Don’t get caught off guard. Advances in technology and weather tracking have made it easier to detect these storms before they make landfall. Proper preparation and action steps can help reduce damage and potential loss of life dramatically.
Know the Difference: Watch vs. Warning
A Hurricane Watch indicates the possibility of hurricane conditions within 36 hours. This watch should trigger your facility’s Emergency Action Plan and initiate protective measures.
A Hurricane Warning indicates that sustained winds of at least 74 mph are expected in 24 hours or less. By the time a warning is issued, your protective actions should be nearly complete and personnel moved to a safe location.
Steps to take before a hurricane:
- Inspect roofs and flashing to ensure they are properly secure.
- Trim trees and shrubbery with safety in mind. Avoid electrical lines and excessive heights.
- Clear loose and clogged rain gutters and downspouts. Check drain pumps.
- Secure or brace outside storage tanks, sheds and other structures.
- Maintain a supply of plastic or tarpaulin to cover water-sensitive equipment.
- Buy plywood (min. 1/2 inch) or shutters to protect doors and windows.
- Ensure proper working condition for emergency equipment, such as flashlights and battery-powered radios, drills and saws.
- Stock non-perishable food, first-aid supplies and drinking water.
More information: http://www.flash.org/hurricanestrong