Storms create destructive winds, storm surges along the coast.

Hurricanes, Tropical Storms & Tornadoes

Hurricanes and tropical storms create destructive winds, storm surges along the coast, and cause extensive damage from heavy rainfall and flooding. Hurricanes are classified into five categories based on their wind speed, pressure, and damage potential. Categories One and Two are extremely dangerous and warrant full attention. Category Three and higher are considered major hurricanes with winds of 111 to 115 miles per hour or more.

Did you know that…

  • Hurricanes can spawn tornadoes and microbursts
  • Tropical storms have lower wind speeds than hurricanes, but they often bring life-threatening flooding and winds that are still dangerous
  • The US Lifesaving Association estimates that rip currents account for over 100 deaths annually at our nation’s beaches
  • Hurricane warnings are issued 36 hours in advance of an anticipated tropical storm
  • New York State has averaged 8-9 tornadoes annually over the last 10 years

Storm Preparedness Tips:

Take the following measures before an anticipated tropical storm or hurricane event.

  • Listen frequently to radio, TV or NOAA Weather Radio for critical information on a storm’s progress
  • Check your disaster supplies – replace or restock as needed
  • Have cash on hand in case power goes out and ATMs don’t work
  • Secure outdoor objects that can be picked up by the wind, close windows, doors and storm shutters or board up windows and doors with plywood (taping glass will not prevent breakage)
  • Stock up on batteries, food that will keep (3-day supply per person), first aid supplies, drinking water (3-day supply/1 gallon per person) and medications (7-day supply)
  • Turn your refrigerator and freezer to the coldest setting and keep them closed as much as possible so food will last longer if the power goes out.
  • Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water
  • Turn off any propane tanks
  • Unplug small appliances and avoid using the phone, except for serious emergencies
  • Fill the gas tank for all vehicles and don’t forget generators
  • If you have a boat, determine how and where to secure it
  • Determine a “wind-safe” area of your home – a basement, or an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from windows, doors, and outside walls, putting as many walls as possible between you and the outside
  • Review your evacuation plan – know routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs and make plans for care of pets
  • Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power (call, text, email or use social media) – during disasters, sending text messages is usually reliable and faster than making phone calls because phone lines are often overloaded

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