Never Paddle into Dangerous Waters: Hurricane, Tropical Storm, and Tsunami Resources
A hurricane is a storm system that is defined by regular winds that can reach up to 74 miles per hour. A tropical storm is an orderly system of powerful thunderstorms with a definite surface circulation and winds reaching anywhere between 39 miles per hour to 73 miles per hour. A tsunami, Japanese for “harbor wave,” is simply a sequence of water waves that happen as a result of the displacement of water in a sizable body of water, like an ocean or even a large lake. Understanding how these weather systems (tsunamis are actually the consequence of displacement of water and not a weather system) work is integral in the safety of people living along coasts, or where there is a large incidence of these natural disasters. People who understand the risks of these natural disasters will be inclined to be well-prepared for them. This prescient preparation can include keeping an emergency evacuation kit; having an evacuation plan worked out in advance; making sure the car is ready to drive by having a full gas tank; and ensuring that you have cash on hand.
A tropical storm is a kind of tropical cyclone that is characterized by strong winds that can reach speeds of up to 73 miles per hour. A system of thunderstorms with a surface circulation that’s always consistent, a tropical storm occurs when a distinctive cyclone form first begins to develop; an eye is commonly not present at this stage of the weather system. A tropical storm occurs when conditions centered around a minor weather disturbance are favorable; these conditions are based on cycles such as El Nino or another one in the Atlantic. The main energy source for a tropical storm is the release of condensed heat from compressed water haze; heat from the sun is the starting source for evaporation in the first place. A weather system first receives a name from government weather services when it becomes a tropical storm. Tropical storm safety tips include sitting tight until authorities in their infinite wisdom announce that it’s safe to return home; not driving through flood waters; bringing water and food upon your return home; and checking for damage to the residence. If you have a no longer needed boat, yacht, RV, or truck consider donating it to charity.
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Tropical Storm Safety
A hurricane is a weather system that boasts winds reaching at least 74 miles per hour; when a system gets to this strength and size, it develops an eye at its center. Hurricanes form over the Atlantic Ocean, and they generally form only over waters that are warm, like those at the equator. They form when warm air near the ocean’s surface rises, which leaves behind an area of lower air pressure. This sets off a whole system of wind spins and clouds, which only gets more ferocious as it is fueled by water evaporating from the ocean surface and the heat of the ocean itself. Hurricanes are assigned their names from a list that is picked by the World Meteorological Association. Being prepared in a hurricane means creating a plan for the family; designating a place to go in the event a hurricane strikes; securing the home; creating a hurricane supply kit; and even having a plan for the pets.
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In contrast to weather systems, a tsunami is a sequence of water waves that is a result of a big volume of water’s displacement. When a lake, sea, or ocean is disturbed, a displacement of water follows; if this displacement of water occurs with a huge enough volume of water, such as that caused by an earthquake, volcano, or a landslide, then a tsunami is formed. A tsunami’s series of water waves is sustained by nothing other than gravity, and one of their most frequently occurring places on the planet is in and around Japan. If a tsunami warning is heard, make it a priority to head to higher ground at once. Taking precautions before a tsunami hits includes knowing the height of street level by your home; knowing the distance of the residence from the coast; establishing evacuation plans; having disaster supplies on hand; and creating an emergency communication plan. Safety during a tsunami includes having a battery-powered radio on hand to listen to emergency information; staying far from the beach; moving to higher ground; and returning home only after the authorities’ advise it is safe.
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- United States Search and Rescue Task Force: Tsunamis
- NOAA Tsunami Website
- Tsunami Maps and Information
- What Causes a Tsunami