• STORM SURGE – A hurricane can produce destructive storm surge, which is an abnormal rise of water that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds. This advancing surge combines with the normal tides to inundate normally dry land in feet of water. The stronger the storm, the higher the storm surge. Do not confuse storm surge with storm tide. Storm Tide is the water level rise due to the combination of storm surge and astronomical tides.
  • INLAND FLOODING/ HEAVY RAINFALL – Hurricanes also known as tropical cyclones often produce torrential rains, sometimes in excess of 6 inches. Flooding is the most significant threat from hurricanes to those living inland. Torrential rainfall can lead to flash flooding.
  • HIGH WINDS – Hurricane-force winds of 74- mph can destroy poorly constructed buildings and mobile homes. Debris such as signs, roofing material, and small items left outside become flying missiles in hurricanes. For this reason, emergency managers plan to have evacuations completed and people sheltered prior to the onset of tropical storm force winds of 39 mph. Winds are classified by the Saffir Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
  • TORNADOES – Hurricanes can produce tornadoes that add to the storm’s destructive power. Tornadoes are most likely to occur in the right-front quadrant or eyewall of the hurricane and may be short lived, but pose a significant threat.
  • RIP CURRENTS Strong winds of a hurricane can cause dangerous waves that pose a significant hazard to mariners and coastal residents and visitors. Rip currents are channeled currents of water flowing away from shore. Usually extending past the lines of breaking waves that can pull even the strongest of swimmers and surfers from the shore.

When a HURRICANE WATCH is issued, it means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area. The hurricane watch is issued by the National Hurricane Center, 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds. This watch should trigger your family’s disaster plan, and proactive measures should be initiated especially those actions that require extra time such as securing a boat, leaving a barrier island, etc.

When a HURRICANE WARNING is issued, it means that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or greater) are expected within the warning area. A hurricane warning is issued by the National Hurricane Center

 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds. Once this warning has been issued, your family should be in the process of completing proactive actions and deciding the safest location to be during the storm.

When a Tropical Storm Warning is issued, it means that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected within the warning area within 36 hours.

Storm Surge Watch: There is a possibility of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline are expected within 48 hours. Prepare your home and family for potential evacuation orders.

Storm Surge Warning: There is a danger of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the shoreline somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours. You should check on evacuation orders from local officials.

Have a NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio and battery backup to receive important weather and other emergency-related warnings.

  • Determine if your home is in a storm surge evacuation zone. If so, learn what needs to be done if you evacuate or stay when a storm is moving toward your area.
  •  Insure your home or business from flood loss. Contact your insurance agent and complete an insurance check-up.
  • Build a disaster supply kit and have a family and/or business plan. Remember to also have a plan for pets.
  • Before, During and After a Hurricane
  • Evacuating Yourself and Your Family
  • Mitigate Hurricane Damages
  • Learn how to prepare your home from wind damage before a storm threatens your area.
  • Make sure that all other aspects of your home are as protected from hurricanes as possible.