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Hi, my name is Rodney from the Tampa Bay National Weather Service office.
Today we will cover hurricanes and flooding, the next topic for severe weather awareness
week 2014. Let's get started. Hurricanes pose the greatest threat to life
and property. The reason for this is because there are multiple hazards associated with
hurricanes that can occur simultaneously. Today we're going to talk about those hazards
and some safety precautions you can take. Tropical cyclones are ranked based off their
wind speeds. They range from a Tropical Depression to a Major Hurricane. A tropical cyclone receives
a name when the wind speeds reach tropical storm strength between 39 and 73 miles per
hour. Once a storm reaches hurricane strength, it is classified based on the wind speed using
the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale which ranges from 1 to 5. A Category 1 hurricane, with
winds greater than 74 mph, will result in minor to moderate damage while a Category
5 Major hurricane, with winds greater than 111 mph, will result in catastrophic damage.
An average of 17 named storms form each year, with 3 of those hurricanes making landfall
along the U.S. coastline. Listed here are some of the hazards. Take
note that these hazards most often occur simultaneously. Storm surge is simply water that is pushed
toward the shore by the force of the winds swirling around the storm. This advancing
surge combines with the normal tides to create the hurricane storm tide. Complete destruction
can occur for any structures along the coastline as seen in the image on this slide.
Hurricanes and tropical storms can also produce tornadoes. These tornadoes most often occur
in thunderstorms embedded in rain bands well away from the center of the hurricane; however,
they can also occur near the eyewall. Usually, tornadoes produced by tropical cyclones are
relatively weak and short-lived, but they still pose a significant threat.
As we see can from this chart. Freshwater flooding is by far the leading cause of tropical
cyclone death. Just in New Orleans, over 500 of the nearly 800 deaths from Hurricane Katrina
were contributed to flooding. Here are some safety tips you should follow.
You should be aware if you live in an evacuation zone and how vulnerable your home is to the
hazards of a hurricane. Always have a plan ahead of time. Check your emergency supply
kit at the beginning of hurricane season on June 1st ensuring you have all the supplies
listed on the slide. Make sure to monitor the tropics during hurricane
season at least a couple times a week. If a storm threatens your area, a NOAA weather
radio is an excellent source for real time weather and warnings. Always follow the advise
of authorities and evacuate if ordered. And finally execute your family plan.
Here are some safety guidelines to follow after the storm has passed. Never re-enter
an area until the authorities declare it safe. Avoid flooded roads and swiftly moving waters.
Be careful of downed power lines and always wear proper footwear.
And finally, we all know that hurricanes are a part of life living in Florida. But with
proper knowledge and planning ahead of time, you can stay safe. Always plan ahead and check
the local forecast from weather.gov/tampa and for the latest tropical advisory, check
hurricanes.gov. Here is a list of websites that you can check
for more information on hurricane safety. This concludes the training on hurricanes
and flooding. The next awareness topic we will cover is tornadoes and thunderstorms.