SOS Blog

Friday, October 20, 2017


Where Do Hurricanes Occur

Hurricanes are a threat to those living along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts in the South and, less often, along the Northeast coast. Hurricanes that affect the United States develop in the Atlantic Ocean, travelling at roughly 15 miles per hour across the sea. These windstorms can be several hundred miles across and often pass through a number of Caribbean countries before making landfall.

According to CNN, 117 hurricanes have touched down in Florida there from 1851-2017. That's almost twice as many as the second state on the list: Texas (64). Third and fourth on the list of most frequent hurricane hits are Louisiana (54) and North Carolina (51).

Every state that borders the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico, with the exception of Delaware, was affected by at least two hurricanes during the surveyed period.

Anatomy of a Hurricane

Hurricane winds move around an eye, the central part, in a counter-clockwise direction in the Northern Hemisphere and a clockwise direction in the Southern Hemisphere. This occurs because air moves from high-pressure areas to low-pressure areas.

Once a hurricane hits land, it begins to decrease in strength because its source of fuel, warm and moist air, is diminished. However, a hurricane's damaging winds can be powerful enough to cause significant damage even hundreds of miles inland.

Types of Damage

In addition to heavy rains and winds, hurricanes cause storm surges. The storm surges caused by hurricanes usually cause the most damage because of the amount of flooding that can result. Storm surges result from winds pushing seawater to much higher levels than normal, similar to how a tsunami causes immense waves.

How to Prepare

First, stay alert to news and emergency broadcasts for the latest forecasts and warnings. Ensure that you know right away whether government officials have made any evacuation orders; if you are asked to evacuate, do so. 

Have a go-bag ready if you do need to evacuate. This can include:

  • Water 
  • Medications 
  • Flashlight 
  • Batteries 
  • Radio 
  • First aid supplies 
Prepare your home or place of business for the hurricane. 

  • Trim nearby trees that could fall on the property
  • Bring in any potential projectiles such as trashcans and patio furniture
  • Ensure that rain gutters are clear of debris to minimize water damage
  • Use permanent storm shutters or board up windows

If you are remaining in the area, be prepared for power and water outages.

  • A portable generator can keep food cold and provide a light source
    • Keep it at least 20 feet from all doors and windows 
  • Turn your refrigerator on the coldest setting possible and keep it closed once the power goes out 
    • Keep a supply of non-perishable foods
  • Don't attempt to drive or walk anywhere until roads are cleared
    • Never drive through moving floodwater

Evacuating with Elderly or Immobile Persons & Pets 

  • Prepare essential medications
    • Utilize a cooler if any medications need to be stored cold
    • Transfer prescriptions refills, if necessary
  • Ensure hotels offer easy disability access & are pet-friendly
  • Remain calm and positive 


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