Are you ready?

A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone or severe tropical storm that forms in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and in the eastern Pacific Ocean. A typical cyclone is accompanied by thunderstorms, and in the Northern Hemisphere, a counterclockwise circulation of winds near the earth’s surface. Hurricanes are huge storms! They can be up to 600 miles across and have strong winds of 75 to 200 mph. Each hurricane usually lasts for over a week, moving 10-20 miles per hour over the open ocean. They gather heat and energy through contact with warm ocean waters and they can cause catastrophic damage to coastlines and several hundred miles inland.

The Anatomy of A Hurricane

The Anatomy of A Hurricane

Floods and flying debris from the excessive winds are often the deadly and destructive results of these weather events. Slow moving hurricanes traveling into mountainous regions tend to produce especially heavy rain. Excessive rain can trigger landslides or mud slides. Flash flooding can occur due to intense rainfall.

All Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas are subject to hurricanes. The Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June to November, with the peak season from mid-August to late October.  So, if you have not done your preparations for the season, now would be an excellent time to start. Although it has been a while since we’ve had a major storm (in South and Central Florida), mother nature is unpredictable, so don’t be complacent, be prepared.

Here’s a Hurricane Survival Guide

Hurricane Survival Guide (source: Live Science)

It is important to prepare a supply kit that can sustain you for at least 1 week although 2 weeks would be ideal. The effects of hurricanes can last several weeks after the storm passes. Some of the most important things to include in a hurricane supply kit are: medicines, water, food and copies of insurance certificates. It is also a good idea to pack a battery-operated radio (I still have a walkman).

Have an evacuation plan worked out! It’s important that you know what to do in the event of a hurricane. Remember to make the necessary adjustments around your home, such as boarding up windows, filling cars and generators with gas, and bringing indoors any objects that strong winds could toss around.

But even after a storm hits, the danger is far from over. In the event of an evacuation, you should listen to warnings and not return to your home until authorities say it is safe. It is also best to stay away from flooded roads and standing water. Lastly, make sure to call your insurance company to report any damage to your property, and remember to check in with friends and family.

Most counties have extensive information regarding Hurricane preparedness on their websites. Some have created dedicated sites with comprehensive lists and guides. Here in Palm Beach County, you can find detailed hurricane information at They have provided an extensive guide to help everyone survive a storm. You may download it here.

Stay safe!