Skip to content

Information and Resources

Act Now for Hurricane Safety

Have a good plan prepared when hurricanes threaten your area.
Font Size
A
A
A
By
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Don't wait until your radio blares out a hurricane warning. There's a lot you can do to protect yourself, your family, your pets, and your home -- if you act in time.

The devastation from Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita has made more Americans appreciate the wrath of Mother Nature. The effects of that disaster brought home the message that these storms touch everyone's lives.

Recommended Related to Diet & Weight Management

Fast Food: Does Healthy Sell?

Sure, you can order salads and even fresh fruit in fast-food restaurants these days. But with the intoxicating smell of fries wafting through the air, it's not easy to opt for a more nutritious side dish. Though all the major fast-food chains have added healthy options to their menus -- and some of these items are selling well -- many Americans are reluctant to forgo their beloved burgers and fries. During restaurants' peak summer season this past year, the top picks were burgers, fries, and...

Read the Fast Food: Does Healthy Sell? article > >

One in six Americans live in a county on the Atlantic or Gulf coasts where hurricanes pose yearly threats. Even if we don't live in these areas, many of us vacation in areas of the U.S., the Caribbean, or Mexico where hurricanes habitually hit.

Unfortunately, it may have taken the impact of Katrina and Rita to make people realize that riding out a hurricane is always a big mistake.

U.S. hurricane season runs from June through November. Mid-August to late October is peak season.

How Hurricanes Harm

Wind

  • By definition, hurricanes pack sustained high winds of 74 mph or more. Gusts can be much faster. Hurricane Camille in 1969 set the record for the highest wind speed ever to hit the Western hemisphere. It had sustained winds of 190 mph at landfall.
  • It's not just the wind that's a worry. Items such as toys left in the yard, signs, and construction materials become deadly missiles in hurricane-force gales.

Storm Surge and Storm Tide

  • A storm surge is a dome of water -- topped by battering waves -- that sweeps the coastline when a hurricane hits the shore. At the water's edge, it's the greatest threat to life and property. Storm surges can be 50 or even 100 miles wide. A 15-foot storm surge is not unusual for a major storm.
  • Katrina's storm surge was 20-30 feet, but the real clincher in New Orleans was that the system of levees was overwhelmed.
  • The storm tide is the storm surge combined with the normal tide. If it's high tide when a hurricane hits, the storm surge adds to the water's height. In 1989, Hurricane Hugo caused a 20-foot storm tide in South Carolina. Tornadoes
  • Hurricanes often spawn tornadoes far from the center of the storm.

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

feet
Solutions for 19 types.
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
pregnancy test and calendar
Helping you get pregnant.
build a better butt
How to build a better butt.
lone star tick
How to identify that bite.
woman standing behind curtains
How it affects you.
brain scan with soda
Tips to avoid complications.
row of colored highlighter pens
Tips for living better.
psoriasis
How to keep flares at bay.
woman dreaming
What Do Your Dreams Say About You?
spinal compression fracture
Treatment options.

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.