What is a hurricane?
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 approaches, the skies will begin to darken and winds will grow in strength. As a hurricane nears land, it can bring a downpour, high winds, and storm surges. A single hurricane can last for more than 2 weeks over open waters and can run a path across the entire length of the eastern seaboard. August and September are peak months during the hurricane season that lasts from June 1 through November 30.
What should I do during a hurricane warning?
During a hurricane warning you should listen constantly to a battery-operated radio or television for official instructions. If you're in a mobile home, check tiedowns and evacuate immediately. Avoid elevators. If you're at home, stay inside, away from windows, skylights, and glass doors. Keep supply of flashlights and extra batteries handy. Avoid open flames, such as candles and kerosene lamps, as a source of light. If power is lost, turn off major appliances to reduce power surge when electricity is restored.
What should I do after the storm?
stay tuned to local radio for information. You should help injured or trapped persons. Give first aid where appropriate. Do not move seriously injured persons unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Avoid loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company, police, or fire department. Enter your home with caution. Beware of snakes, insects, and animals driven to higher ground by flood water. Open windows and doors to ventilate and dry your home. Check refrigerated foods for spoilage. Drive only if absolutely necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed-out bridges. Use telephone only for emergency calls.