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Hurricanes and Tropical Storms

Satellite imagery of Hurricane Ivan
Satellite imagery of Hurricane Ivan, 2004.

History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster.

A hurricane is a tropical storm with winds that have reached a constant speed of 74 miles per hour or more. Hurricane winds blow in a large spiral around a relative calm center known as the "eye." The "eye" is generally 20 to 30 miles wide, and the storm may extend outward 400 miles. As a hurricane nears land, it can bring torrential rains, high winds, and storm surges. Hurricanes normally form in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th.

How Can I Be Prepared for Hurricanes & Tropical Storms?

  1. Visit Ready.gov and print out an Emergency Supply Kit checklist. This checklist will provide you with a selection of survival items to have on hand during emergency situations, including fresh water, food, clean air and warmth.
  2. If you are advised to evacuate the area, leave as soon as possible. Make an evacuation plan, identify several places you could go in an emergency, a friend's home in another town, a motel or public shelter.
  3. Make a Family Emergency Plan.
  4. Prepare you home by boarding up windows, turn off propane tanks, have a supply of water for sanitary (fill the bathtub and other large containers with water) and bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not secured.
  5. Take a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) class from your local Citizen Corps chapter. Keep your training current.
  6. Complete an inventory of personal property for insurance settlements and tax deductions for losses. List and take pictures of all items.

Hurricane and Tropical Storms Links

FEMA: Hurricane
Ready.gov: Hurricanes
NOAA: National Hurricane Center
American Red Cross


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Department of the Columbus, Georgia Consolidated Government