How should I prepare for a hurricane?

For up-to-date hurricane and severe weather information, even during a power outage, listen to your NOAA Weather radio. The Midland ER102 with emergency crank function keeps you alerted when the power is down. Keep extra batteries handy, as well as bottled water and canned food.

For more items helpful in an emergency, check out the National Hurricane Center’s disaster supply kit checklist: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/prepare/supply_kit.shtml

For tips on preventing damage to your home and developing a family plan: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/disaster_prevention.shtml

What is the difference between a tropical depression, tropical storm and hurricane?

Tropical cyclones are classified based on sustained wind speeds. Higher sustained winds are directly correlated to damage potential.

  • Tropical Depression: A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 38 mph (33 knots) or less.
  • Tropical Storm: A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph (34 to 63 knots).
  • Hurricane: A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher. In the western North Pacific, hurricanes are called typhoons; similar storms in the Indian Ocean and South Pacific Ocean are called cyclones.
  • Major Hurricane: A tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 111 mph (96 knots) or higher, corresponding to a Category 3, 4 or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
When is hurricane season?

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th, and the Eastern Pacific hurricane season runs from May 15th to November 30th.

The National Hurricane Center describes the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season as mid-August through late October. However, deadly hurricanes can occur anytime in the hurricane season.

What is a hurricane?

NOAA Hurricane

According to the National Hurricane Center, a hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone, which is a generic term for a low-pressure system that generally forms in the tropics. The cyclone is accompanied by thunderstorms and, in the Northern Hemisphere, a counterclockwise circulation of winds near the earth’s surface.

A tropical cyclone is called a hurricane when maximum sustained winds reach or exceed 74 mph. In the western North Pacific, hurricanes are called typhoons; similar storms in the Indian Ocean and South Pacific Ocean are called cyclones.

What should I include in my Basic Emergency Supply Kit?

A few recommended items to include in your Basic Emergency Supply Kit:

  • NOAA Weather Alert Radio – With back-up power from batteries and/or hand crank
  • Flashlight
  • Extra Batteries
  • First Aid Kit
  • Water and Non-Perishable Food – Include can opener
  • Cell Phones and Chargers
  • Prescription Medications
  • Important Family Documents
  • Sleeping Bags or Warm Blankets
  • Extra Clothing – Including sturdy shoes
  • Special Needs Items – Glasses, oxygen tanks, infant formula, diapers, pet food
  • Multi-Purpose Tool
  • Matches – Store in waterproof container

Visit the following websites for additional information or items you may want to add to your Basic Emergency Supply Kit:

www.ready.gov
www.redcross.org
www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr

Why is the NOAA icon flashing on my WR120?

The flashing NOAA icon can indicate that the radio is not receiving a strong signal from the National Weather Service. If the radio is receiving a clear broadcast from the NWS, and is programmed with the correct county code, and corresponding NOAA channel, the flashing icon should have no affect on the radio receiving the NOAA alerts.

To check the radio, press the “Weather/Snooze” button to ensure that the radio is receiving a clear broadcast from the National Weather Service. If you can hear static while listening to the NWS broadcast, we suggest moving the radio near a window with the antenna fully extended, in order to receive the strongest signal possible.

Where can I find information on current severe weather, hurricanes and tropical storms?

Check out the National Hurricane Center for the latest forecast: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

The following links provide current tropical outlooks:

Atlantic
Pacific
National Hurricane Center

A weather radio helps keep your family safe during a hurricane… if you have one

Superstorm, the perfect storm, the storm of the century. Hurricanes have been called some ominous names lately. Just when we think there can’t be another hurricane like it, another one proves us wrong, bringing inland tornadoes, deadly storm surges and microbursts. All Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas are prone to hurricanes with peak season being mid-August to late October. Hurricanes can cause catastrophic damage to coastlines and several hundred miles inland. Between 1970 and 1999, more people lost their lives from freshwater inland flooding associated with tropical cyclones than from any other weather hazard related to such storms. What we know from the last couple of devastating hurricanes is that systems go down, power grids fail and technology isn’t always available when we need it most. During the darkest hours and after a hurricane, weather alert radios are the only thing people can count on to get the latest emergency information.