A hurricane is a massive storm of enormous scope and destructive power. It causes a wide
range of damage due to storm surge, large waves, torrential rains, and strong winds. A
hurricane can also spawn tornadoes that can occur for several days after the storm makes
landfall. Hail may accompany a tornado.
Hurricanes destroy homes, businesses, and everything from fencing and vehicles to boats. It
affects infrastructure that includes roads, bridges and docks. It impedes the work of police,
firefighters and first responders.
Flooding and Storm Surge
Flooding from storm surge, waves and rain is one of the most common types of damage.
Many coastal areas are only 3 to 6 ft. above sea level and a fast-moving storm surge can
reach 20 ft., sweeping away everything in its path. Flooding from hurricanes in recent years
has extended further inland, reaching areas that were not designated flood zones.
Winds and Tornadoes
Wind is another factor. Depending on the force, wind can loosen roof tiles, tear roofs off
structures to let rain in, uproot trees that can fall on homes, and even blow over fully
loaded tractor-trailer rigs. If tornadoes form, they turn debris from a hurricane into millions
of damaging and potentially deadly projectiles. That’s why its so important to board up
One of the major dangers of a hurricane is contamination of the water and everything it
touches. The water washing into structures and across the landscape will be contaminated
with chemicals, sewage, heavy metals, a variety of biological pathogens, and even dead
Contaminated materials must be handled carefully to avoid direct exposure. Mold growth
will also be an issue. The fungi can begin to multiply in as little as 24 hours.
When the potential for a hurricane is announced, the best course of action is to evacuate.
Don’t forget to take your pets and important documents. Even a hurricane of lesser
strength can lay waste to the landscape, destroy roads and bridges, and prevent escape