Reducing the Impact of Disasters Through Education
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Tropical storms are forecast by the National Weather Service and posted on the Tropical Prediction Center portion of their National Hurricane Center Web site. This site deals with active tropical cyclones in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and the Eastern Pacific out to 140°W. Predicted paths for three- and five-day forecasts are shown in graphic format under the "Maps and Charts" heading for each storm system.

As a hurricane moves inland, it may continue to produce torrential rains, and surge may follow the hurricane on shore. Watch for floodwaters that may rise hours and days after the hurricane passes. Two sources of potential flood information are

Description and Extension Opportunities to Assist 

From June 1 to November 30 each year the people of coastal states face the possibility of hurricanes. Characteristics of hurricanes are: 

  • WINDS up to 200 mph at ground level and more than 300 mph above ground
  • TORRENTIAL RAINS, which cause flash floods and river overflows
  • STORM SURGES from the oceans, Gulf and coastal zone lakes
  • TORNADOES, spawned as a hurricane moves inland
  • BIOLOGICAL and CHEMICAL HAZARDS dispersed by wind or water

Avoid Further Tragedy

Many injuries and deaths occur after the hurricane has passed. Try to avoid these hazards:

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning from running electrical generators and/or using charcoal grills indoors without proper ventilation
  • Heat stroke and dehydration from working too hard in the heat and not drinking enough water
  • Cuts and falls from working without proper protective clothing and using tools you're not accustomed to or haven't used recently
  • Illness from drinking unsafe water and other sanitation problems
  • Victimization by fraudulent adjustors, contractors and financial consultants.

When powerful hurricanes strike land, they can leave thousands homeless, without power and with damage - physical, economic and emotional - ranging from minor problems to complete devastation. Recovery is usually a long process.  

Those who lost loved ones or suffered extensive damage will focus more on coping with these losses and rebuilding their lives, rather than on physical restoration. Agencies providing recovery assistance are aware of the need for counseling, in addition to the basics for survival.

For those who experience minor to moderate damage, the first step is to minimize further damage by doing such things as patching roofs and repairing doors and windows so additional rain does not enter. Where things got wet - either from rain blowing in or from rising water - it's important to clean up and dry out as quickly as possible to prevent complications from mold growth. Damage should be documented so future claims for insurance or disaster assistance can be validated.

Extension has information that can help with small business or family financial management decisions; with coping with the stress; and with restoring home, furnishings and landscape.  Extension also has the relationships with local government that can be useful in reducing community vulnerability to hazards through planning and ordinance adoption.


NOAA Forecast - 2015 Hurricane Season 

The 2015 Atlantic Hurricane season outlook. -  NOAA's website

On May 27, NOAA issued its outlook, predicting that an anticipated El Nino will affect the number of storms. The prediction indicates

  • 6 to 11 named storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including:
  • 3 to 6 hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which:
  • 0 to 2 could be major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)

Please see the NOAA press release to read all details.

NOAA’s seasonal hurricane outlook does not predict where and when any of these storms may hit. Landfall is dictated by weather patterns in place at the time the storm approaches. For each storm, NOAA’s National Hurricane Center forecasts how these weather patterns affect the storm track, intensity and landfall potential.


Hurricane Preparedness Week  

May 24 - May 30 was national Hurricane Preparedness Week. To help prepare residents of hurricane-prone areas, NOAA unveiled a new set of video and audio public service announcements featuring NOAA hurricane experts and the FEMA administrator, making these available in both English and Spanish. These are available at


Last Updated:8/17/2015 9:44 AM

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