Hurricane Categories: Strengths and Impacts

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Hurricane Categories: Strengths and Impacts
Hurricane Season is Here Right Now - Be Informed and Ready
June 30th - July 6th, 2016
Page 8
A hurricane is a
severe tropical storm that
forms in the southern
Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean
Sea, Gulf of Mexico or
eastern Pacific Ocean. To
form, hurricanes need
warm tropical oceans,
moisture and light winds.
They gather heat and
energy from the warm
waters. Evaporation from
seawater increases their
power.
Hurricanes rotate
in a counterclockwise
direction around an "eye."
They have winds at least
75 mph. When they come
onto land, they can bring
heavy rain, strong winds
and floods, and can damage buildings, trees and
cars. They also produce
heavy waves called storm
surge. Storm surges are
very dangerous and a
major reason why people
must stay away from the
ocean during a hurricane
warning.
Hurricanes need
not make landfall or move
directly across Virginia to
cause great damage. The
eye of Hurricane Gloria in
September 1985 passed 45
miles east of Cape Henry.
She was a category 3 hurricane with wind gusts to
104 mph. Damage to eastern Virginia was $5.5 million. The fastest wind ever
recorded in Virginia was
134 mph from a hurricane
in September 1944 at Cape
Henry. Winds gusted up
to 150 mph, though the
storm stayed just offshore.
Fast-moving
inland storms such as
Hurricane
Hazel
in
October 1954 maintained
hurricane force winds
after making landfall.
Winds gusted to 130 mph
in Hampton and 100 mph
in Richmond and Fairfax.
Virginia lost 13 people,
and statewide damage
was conservatively estimated at $15 million.
Eye: The eye is
the calm center of a hurricane. Don't be fooled if
wind and rain stop during
a hurricane. You may just
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be in the eye of the storm.
Listen to the radio to find
out when the storm has
really passed.
Floods:
More
people are killed by freshwater floods during a hurricane than by any other
hazard. Never play in
floodwater.
In
September
2003, Hurricane Isabel
caused 32 deaths and
approximately $1.9 billion
in damages to homes,
businesses and public
facilities in Virginia,
affecting 75 percent of the
state. Yet, this deadly
storm
was
only
a
Category 1 hurricane
when it reached Virginia.
Hurricanes aren’t
the only tropical systems
that warrant caution.
Tropical
Depression
Gaston
(2004)
and
Tropical Storms Jeanne
(2004) and Floyd (1999) all
caused major damage and
prompted federal disaster
declarations.
Tropical depressions, tropical storms and
hurricanes are low pressure areas that develop in
the tropical regions of the
ocean
(between
20
degrees N latitude and the
equator). These storms are
masses of thunderstorms
that organize and begin to
rotate. These systems, in
order of intensity, are
called depressions (winds
between 25 and 38 mph),
tropical storms (winds
between 39 and 73 mph)
and hurricanes (winds of
74 mph or greater).
A tropical depression, the lowest intensity,
is given a number once it
has a counterclockwise
spin and winds of 38 mph
or less.
When
wind
speeds reach 39 mph and
the storm is given a name
from a pre-determined
list, a tropical storm is
born. While a tropical
storm does not produce a
high storm surge, its thunderstorms can still pack a
dangerous and deadly
punch. In 1972, Agnes
was only a tropical storm
when it dropped torrential rains that led to devastating
floods
in
Pennsylvania, Maryland
and Virginia. Sixteen people died in Virginia and
damage was estimated at
$222 million.
A hurricane is the
most intense tropical
event, with five categories
and winds ranging from
74 mph to 157 mph or
greater. Storm surge is a
major concern with hurricanes. The extremely high
winds cause ocean water
to pile up, creating higher
than normal sea levels
with waves up to 40 feet
in open water. High sea
levels and shallow waters
can devastate a coastline
and bring ocean water
miles inland.
A
hurricane's
bands of thunderstorms
produce torrential rains
and sometimes tornadoes.
A foot or more of rain
could fall in less than a
day, causing flash floods
and mudslides. Large
rivers in the hurricane's
path might still be flooding for days after the
storm has passed. The
storm's driving winds can
topple trees, utility poles
and damage buildings.
Communication and electricity might be lost for
days and roads are often
impassable due to fallen
trees and debris.
What areas in
Virginia are most vulnerable?
Though it might
seem that only the shoreline is vulnerable to the
effects of hurricanes, all of
Virginia can be affected
by tropical systems. As
we saw in 2004 with
Tropical
Depression
Gaston and Tropical
Storm Jeanne, even weakened storm systems can
cause problems for inland
areas. Both of these
storms resulted in federal
disaster declarations, loss
of life and tremendous
property damage.
The 2015 Atlantic Hurricane Names
Alex (January 13th)
Bonnie (May 27th)
Colin (June 5th)
Danielle (June 19th)
Earl
Fiona
Gaston
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Hermine
Ian
Julia
Karl
Lis
Matthew
Nicole
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Otto
Paula
Richard
Shary
Tobia
Virginie
Walter
Watches & Warnings:
Know The Meaning
From The VA Dept. of Emergercy Management
Hurricane/Typhoon Warning: An announcement that sustained winds of
64 knots (74 mph or 119 km/hr) or higher are expected somewhere within
the specified area in association with a tropical, subtropical, or post-tropical cyclone. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult
once winds reach tropical storm force, the warning is issued 36 hours in
advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds (24 hours
for the Western North Pacific). The warning can remain in effect when
dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and
waves continue, even though winds may be less than hurricane force.
• Hurricane Watch: An announcement that sustained winds of 64 knots (74
mph or 119 km/hr) or higher are possible within the specified area in
association with a tropical, subtropical, or post-tropical cyclone. Because
hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the
anticipated onset of tropical storm force winds.
• Tropical Storm Warning: An announcement that sustained winds of 34 to
63 knots (39 to 73 mph or 63 to 118 km/hr) are expected somewhere within the specified area within 36 hours (24 hours for the Western North
Pacific) in association with a tropical, subtropical, or post-tropical cyclone.
• Tropical Storm Watch: An announcement that sustained winds of 34 to 63
knots (39 to 73 mph or 63 to 118 km/hr) are possible within the specified
area within 48 hours in association with a tropical, subtropical, or posttropical cyclone
•
Hurricane Categories:
Strengths and Impacts
Hurricanes are rated on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale based on the storm's
intensity. This 1 to 5 rating scale estimates potential property damage.
Hurricanes reaching Category 3 and higher are considered major hurricanes
because of potential for loss of life and damage, though Category 1 and 2 storms
are still very dangerous and should not be taken lightly.
Category 1: Winds of 74 to 95 mph
Potential for minimal damage.
Expect: Trees, shrubbery, foliage and unanchored mobile home damage. Lowlying coastal roads inundated, minor pier damage. Storm surge four to five feet
above normal tide level.
Category 2: Winds of 96 to 110 mph
Potential for moderate damage.
Expect: Considerable damage to shrubbery and trees, with some trees uprooted.
Major damage to exposed mobile homes. Some damage to roofing materials.
Coastal roads and low-lying escape routes inland cut by rising water two to four
hours before arrival of hurricane center. Considerable damage to and flooding
of piers and marinas. Evacuation of some shoreline homes in low-lying areas.
Storm surge of six to eight feet above normal tide level.
Category 3: Winds of 111 to 129 mph (96-112 kt, 178-208 km/h)
Potential for extensive damage.
Expect: Foliage torn from trees with some large trees blown down. Moderate
damage to roofing materials, windows and doors. Some structural damage to
small buildings, and mobile homes destroyed. Serious flooding at coast and
many small structures near coast destroyed. Larger structures near coast damaged by waves and floating debris. Major erosion of beaches with low-lying
escape routes inland cut by rising water three to five hours before hurricane center arrives. Evacuation of all residences within 500 yards of shore and singlestory homes on low ground within two miles of shore possible. Storm surge
nine to 12 feet above normal tide level.
Category 4: Winds of 130 to 156 mph (113-136 kt, 209-251 km/h)
Potential for extreme damage.
Expect: Shrubs, trees and signs blown down. Complete failure of roofs on small
homes. Mobile homes destroyed. Flat terrain 10 feet or less above sea level
flooded inland up to six miles. Major damage to lower floors of structures near
shore due to flooding and floating debris. Major erosion of beaches. Low-lying
escape routes inland cut by rising water three to five hours before hurricane center arrives. Evacuation of all homes up to 500 yards from shore and single-story
homes on low ground up to two miles from shore possible. Storm surge 13 to 18
feet above normal tide level.
Category 5: Winds greater than 157 mph (137 kt or higher, 252 km/h or higher)
Potential for catastrophic damage.
Expect: Shrubs and trees blown down, considerable damage to roofs. Mobile
homes destroyed. Major damage to lower floors of all structures less than 15 feet
above sea level within 500 yards of shore. Low-lying escape routes inland cut by
rising water three to five hours before hurricane center arrives. Massive evacuation of residential areas on low ground within five to 10 miles of shore possibly
required. Storm surge greater than 18 feet above normal tide level.
Get Tech Ready for the 2016 Hurricane Season
Page 9
June 30th - July 6th, 2016
According to The
American Red Cross, the
internet
including
online news sites and
social media platforms is the third most popular
way for Americans to
gather emergency information and let their loved
ones know they are safe.
Through the use
of everyday technology,
individuals,
families,
responders and organizations can successfully
prepare for, adapt to and
recover from disruptions
brought on by emergencies and/or disasters.
With effective planning,
it is possible to take
advantage of technology
before, during and after a
crisis to communicate
with loved ones and
manage your financial
affairs.
You can use your
cell phone’s text messaging capability to receive
text message updates
from FEMA (standard
message and data rates
apply).
Here are basic
commands to get started:
To signup to
receive monthly preparedness tips: text PREPARE to 43362 (4FEMA)
To unsubscribe
(at any time): text STOP
to 43362 (4FEMA)
STAY CONNECTED
Keep your contacts updated across all of
your channels, including
phone, email and social
media. This will make it
easy to reach out to the
right people quickly to
get information and supply updates. Consider
creating a group list serve
of your top contacts.
Learn how to
send updates via text and
internet
from
your
mobile phone to your
contacts and social channels in case voice communications are not available. Text messages and
the internet often have
the ability to work in the
event of a phone service
disruption.
Keep extra batteries for your phone in a
safe place or purchase a
solar-powered or hand
crank charger. These
chargers are good emergency tools to keep your
laptop and other small
electronics working in the
event of a power outage.
If you own a car, purchase a car phone charger
because you can charge
your phone if you lose
power at your home.
Program "In Case
of Emergency" (ICE) contacts into your cell phone
so emergency personnel
can contact those people
for you if you are unable
to use your phone. Let
your ICE contacts know
that they are programmed
into
your
phone and inform them
of any medical issues or
other special needs you
may have.
If you have a traditional landline (nonbroadband or VOIP)
phone, keep at least one
non-cordless receiver in
your home because it will
work even if you lose
power.
If you are evacuated and have call-forwarding on your home
phone, forward your
home phone number to
your cell phone number.
If you do not
have a cell phone, keep a
prepaid phone card to
use if needed during or
after a disaster.
Prepare a family
contact sheet. This should
include at least one outof-town contact that may
be better able to reach
From Ready.gov/get-tech-ready
family members in an
emergency.
Have a batterypowered
or
handcranked radio or television available (with spare
batteries).
The following are
additional tips when
making phone calls and
using your smartphone
during or after a disaster:
Keep all phone
calls brief. If you need to
use a phone, try to convey only vital information to emergency personnel and/or family.
If you are unsuccessful in completing a
call using your cell
phone, wait ten seconds
before redialing to help
reduce network congestion.
Conserve your
cell phone battery by
reducing the brightness
of your screen, placing
your phone in airplane
mode, and closing apps
you are not using that
draw power, unless you
need to use the phone.
If
you
lose
power, you can charge
your cell phone in your
car. Just be sure your car
is in a well-ventilated
place (remove it from the
garage) and do not go to
your car until any danger
has passed. You can also
listen to your car radio
for important news alerts.
If you do not
have a hands-free device
in your car, stop driving
or pull over to the side of
the road before making a
call. Do not text on a cell
phone, talk, or "tweet"
without a hands free
device while driving.
Immediately following a disaster, resist
using your mobile device
to
watch
streaming
videos, download music
or videos, or play video
games, all of which can
add to network congestion. Limiting use of these
services can help potentially life-saving emergency calls get through to
9-1-1.
For
non-emergency communications,
use text messaging, email, or social media
instead of making voice
calls on your cell phone
to avoid tying up voice
networks.
Data-based
services like texts and
emails are less likely to
experience network congestion. You can also use
social media to post your
status to let family and
friends know you are
okay. In addition to
Facebook and Twitter,
you can use resources
such as the American Red
Cross's Safe and Well
program.
Your family may not be
together when disaster
strikes, so it is important
to plan in advance.
Create an Emergency
Information Document
(use Google Chrome) or
Family Communication
Plan for Parents and Kids
(PDF - 1.2 Mb) to record
how you will contact one
another; how you will get
back together; and what
you will do in different
situations.
Make sure to
share this document with
family members, friends
and co-workers who will
also need to access it in an
emergency or crisis.
When handling
personal and sensitive
information always keep
your data private and
share it only with those
who will need access in
case of emergency.
Sign up for Direct
Deposit and electronic
banking through your
financial institution so
you can access your payroll funds and make electronic payments regardless of location. Federal
benefit recipients can
sign up by calling (800)
333-1795
or
at
www.GoDirect.org.
GET ORGANIZED
Store your important documents such as
personal and financial
records in a passwordprotected area in the
Cloud or a secure flash or
jump drive that you can
keep readily available.
This flash drive can be
kept on a key ring so it
can be accessed from any
computer, anytime, anywhere. Remember important documents, such as:
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Personal and property insurance
Identification:
D r i v e r ' s
license/passport (for
family members, as
well)
Banking information
Don't forget your pets!
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Store your pet's veterinary
medical
records documents
online.
Consider an information digital implant.
Keep a current photo
of your pet in your
online kit to aid in
identification if you
are separated.
Local Storm Surge Maps
Caring For Animals
If you are like millions of animal owners
nationwide, your pet is an
important member of your
household. Unfortunately,
animals are also affected by
disaster.
The
likelihood
that you and your animals
will survive an emergency
such as a fire or flood, tornado or terrorist attack
depends largely on emergency planning done
today. Some of the things
you can do to prepare for
the unexpected, such as
assembling an animal
emergency supply kit and
developing a pet care
buddy system, are the
same for any emergency.
Whether you decide to stay
put in an emergency or
evacuate to a safer location,
you will need to make
plans in advance for your
pets. Keep in mind that
what's best for you is typically what's best for your
animals.
If you evacuate
your home, DO NOT
From Ready.gov
LEAVE YOUR PETS
BEHIND! Pets most likely
cannot survive on their
own and if by some remote
chance they do, you may
not be able to find them
when you return.
If you are going to
a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed
inside. Plan in advance for
shelter alternatives that
will work for both you and
your pets; consider loved
ones or friends outside of
your immediate area who
would be willing to host
you and your pets in an
emergency.
Make a back-up
emergency plan in case
you can't care for your animals yourself. Develop a
buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives
to make sure that someone
is available to care for or
evacuate your pets if you
are unable to do so. Be prepared to improvise and use
what you have on hand to
make it on your own for at
least three days, maybe
longer.
For
additional
information, please contact
the Humane Society of the
United States
BELROI
CHRISTENSONS CORNER
York
HAYES
NORGE
CLAY BANK
BARLOWS CORNER
SELDEN
SKIMINO
Storm Surge Inundation
NAXERA
WHITE MARSH
Area Not Included
LIGHTFOOT
Category 1
OAKTREE
EWELL
CAMP PEARY
Category 2
GLASS
ORDINARY
Category 3
SEVERN
WICOMICO
QUEENS LAKE
ACHILLES
Category 4
Interstates
MARYUS
Primary Routes
U.S. NAVAL WEAPONS STATION GLOUCESTER POINT
WILLIAMSBURG
YORK TERRACE
Addressed Roads
CARVER GARDENS
FIVE FORKS
Jurisdiction Boundaries
KINGS POINT
LACKEY
GROVE
YORKTOWN
JAMESTOWN
64
HORNSBYVILLE SEAFORD
LEE HALL
17
0
NEWPORT NEWS GOLF COURSE
HOG ISLAND GAME REFUGE
GRAFTON
DARE
ORIANA
FORT EUSTIS
BACONS CASTLE
POOLESVILLE
DENBIGH
OYSTER POINT
MENCHVILLE
TABB
2
3
Miles
60
CHIPPOKES STATE PARK
1
POQUOSON
4
5
6
YORKTOWN CRIER • THE POQUOSON POST, JUNE 30TH - JULY 6TH, 2016
Page 7

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