12. What specific actions should you and/or your family take to be

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12. What specific actions should you and/or your family take to be
Earthlabs: Hurricanes – Lab 9
http://serc.carleton.edu/eslabs/hurricanes/9.html
Name _________________________
12. What specific actions should you and/or your family take to be prepared for a
hurricane? Make a specific list that pertains to you and/or your family, as residents
of, or visitors to, an area that experiences these storms.
Answers will vary. Complete answers should include preparation of a disaster
supply kit and knowledge of evacuation routes.
Earthlabs: Hurricanes – Lab 9
http://serc.carleton.edu/eslabs/hurricanes/9.html
Name _________________________
Answers will vary. Students may include any of the following:
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Minimize the distance you must travel to reach a safe location
Select the nearest possible evacuation destination, preferably within your local area, and
map out your route.
Do not get on the road without a planned route, or a place to go.
Choose the home of the closest friend or relative outside a designated evacuation zone
and discuss your plan with them before hurricane season. You may also choose a
hotel/motel outside of the vulnerable area. If neither of these options is available,
consider the closest possible public shelter, preferably within your local area.
Use the evacuation routes designated by authorities and, if possible, become familiar with
your route by driving it before an evacuation order is issued.
Contact your local emergency management office to register or get information regarding
anyone in your household whom may require special assistance in order to evacuate.
Prepare a separate pet plan, most public shelters do not accept pets.
Prepare your home prior to leaving by boarding up doors and windows, securing or
moving indoors all yard objects, and turning off all utilities.
Before leaving, fill your car with gas and withdraw extra money from the ATM.
Take all prescription medicines and special medical items, such as glasses and diapers.
If your family evacuation plan includes an RV, boat or trailer, leave early. Do not wait
until the evacuation order or exodus is well underway to start your trip.
If you live in an evacuation zone and are ordered to evacuate by state or local officials, do
so as quickly as possible. Do not wait or delay your departure, to do so will only increase
your chances of being stuck in traffic, or even worse, not being able to get out at all.
Expect traffic congestion and delays during evacuations. Expect and plan for significantly
longer travel times than normal to reach your family's intended destination.
Stay tuned to a local radio or television station and listen carefully for any advisories or
specific instructions from local officials. Monitor your NOAA Weather Radio.
9. Describe what happens to debris and loose material in hurricane-force or
tornado-related winds. How can you protect yourself from this hazard?
Debris such as signs, roofing material, and small items left outside become flying
missiles in hurricanes. Staying inside and away from windows is one way to protect
yourself from these objects.
10. Describe the conditions that can cause a vehicle to float downstream.
When the force of the stream overcomes the force of the friction holding the
vehicle on the road, it can be swept downstream. If the water is deep enough, the
buoyancy of the vehicle (its tendency to float) counteracts its weight, reducing the
force of friction.
11. If your vehicle is suddenly caught in rising water, what is the recommended
safety action?
Leave it immediately and seek higher ground.
Earthlabs: Hurricanes – Lab 9
http://serc.carleton.edu/eslabs/hurricanes/9.html
Name _________________________
hurricane occurred or not. Cases of deaths attributed to the exacerbation of mental illness
by situations brought about by a hurricane could occur long after the hurricane itself.
6: Of the fifteen deadliest hurricanes in the U.S, only one occurred in the past 50
years. Does this fact mean that hurricanes have become less dangerous in the past
50 years? Discuss why you think fewer people are dying in U.S. hurricanes than in
the past.
Answers will vary. Earlier warnings facilitated by satellite observations allow
people to evacuate to safe areas. Advances in medical technology also facilitate
healing of injuries that may have been fatal 50 years ago.
Checking In
Compare the costs of property damage with the storm intensities
(Category). Are the strongest storms (Category 5 hurricanes) the ones
that result in the most damage?
No. The table shows that lower intensity hurricanes and even tropical
storms (TS) are among the costliest storms.
Think about the factors that could affect costs attributed to hurricane
damage. Which of the following do you think has the largest affect on
costs for property damage associated with a hurricane? Discuss your ideas
with a lab partner.
• Housing prices of affected communities
• Population density
• Storm intensity
• Height above sea level (elevation) of affected area
All of the factors might affect the cost of damage attributed to storms.
Relative contributions by each factor are likely to change at different
locations and with different storms.
7. What are some of the advantages of using a computer model rather than a
physical model to predict the height of storm surges?
The computer model takes a specific locale's shoreline including water depths,
bridges, roads, and other physical features into account. The computer model also
accounts for astronomical tides. The SLOSH model is generally accurate within
plus or minus 20 percent
8. What are the actions you could take to keep yourself safe from a storm surge?
From the list of Storm Surge Safety Actions, record the three recommendations
you believe are the most important for survival.
Earthlabs: Hurricanes – Lab 9
http://serc.carleton.edu/eslabs/hurricanes/9.html
Name _________________________
Death and Destruction
Part A: Specific Dangers of Storms
1: What do you think is the major cause of damage to buildings from hurricanes?
Answers will vary.
2: What do you think is the main danger to human lives in a hurricane?
Answers will vary.
3: Record the URL of your top choices of interesting photos or videos that
illustrate the dangers of a hurricane. Include a brief description of each resource
you list.
Answers will vary. Instructors may choose to compile the URLs for the most interesting
resources that students find, or print images or frames from videos to post.
4: List 5-6 common causes of death that are attributed to hurricanes.
Drowning
Electrocution
Burning (Fires and explosions)
Carbon Monoxide poisoning
Exacerbation of a pre-existing condition (stress leading to heart failure)
Suicide attributed to mental stress from losing home and property
Jumping/falling out of a multi-story building
Motor-vehicle crashes
Implosion of a shelter (i.e., mobile home or shed)
Hurt by falling trees
Injured by flying debris
Note: Historically, drowning has been the major cause of death in hurricanes. As a storm
surge moved onto low-lying land and water rose inside their homes, people climbed their
stairs, eventually becoming trapped in their attics.
5: From your reading, give a brief description of some of the challenges medical
examiners had in making an accurate count of the number of deaths related to
Hurricane Katrina.
Answers will vary. Thousands of Gulf Coast residents evacuated from the area and
dispersed across the country. In addition to the more common causes of hurricane-related
deaths, examiners included conditions such as infectious diseases, mental health
conditions, injuries, and chronic diseases in their reports as these deaths were attributable
to conditions that resulted from the storms. In a range of cases such as car accidents and
heart attacks, it can be difficult to assess if the death would have happened if the

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