What is a Hurricane Local Statement, and What Does it Mean?

If you live in a region that’s prone to hurricanes, you may have received a hurricane local statement.

This emergency message is designed to provide the general public with critical information about an approaching hurricane so that you can keep yourself informed and safe and protect yourself against this potential hazardous weather event. 

What is a Hurricane Local Statement, and What Does it Mean

If you’ve never received a hurricane local statement, you may be wondering what to expect from these messages and how to prepare for a hurricane.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of hurricane local statements and tell you how to interpret these messages, how to prepare for the event, and more. 

What is a Hurricane? 

A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone or storm system that rotates around an area of low pressure. When this happens, strong winds and heavy rain can occur. These large, swirling storms can produce winds of 74mph or higher.  

The severity of a hurricane is classified into five grades, and categories three to five are considered major storms. Meteorologists will use the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale to determine the speed and potential impacts of a hurricane.

We’ll take a closer look at the five grades of hurricane below. 

According to the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale, these are the five categories of hurricanes and what features and impacts to expect from each tropical cyclone. 

Category One

A category one hurricane has very dangerous winds and may produce some damage. Sustained winds for category one hurricanes are between 74-95mph.

These hurricanes may cause damage to gutters, roofs, shingles, and cladding. Trees are likely to be broken, and those that have shallow roots may become uprooted. There is also a high chance of damage to power lines and poles, which may cause outages across the region. 

Category Two

Category two hurricanes are more severe. These hurricanes can produce winds between 96-100mph, and extensive damage is likely. The framing and siding of even the most well-constructed homes may be damaged, and many trees are likely to become uprooted.

Most category two hurricanes will cause an almost total loss of power in the region that could last days or weeks, depending on the severity of the damage.  

Category Three

A category three hurricane is described as devastating. With a category three hurricane, you can expect to see wind speeds of between 111-129mph, and most homes will experience major structural damage.

Many trees will be uprooted, and road blockages are highly likely. Water and electricity supplies will be out of action for days or even weeks. 

Category Four 

Category four hurricanes are catastrophic and rare. Wind speeds will be between 130-156mph, and most roof structures and the exterior walls of many properties will be demolished, trees will be uprooted, and most power poles may be drowned by flooding.

If many trees and power poles have fallen, residential areas can expect to become isolated.

Because of the extent of the damage, power outages will last between weeks and months, and the majority of the affected area will be uninhabitable for months while recovery efforts take place. 

Category Five 

With a category five hurricane, wind speeds can reach 157mph or higher. Category five hurricanes are the most destructive, and although they’re rare, they can be fatal.

Most homes will be destroyed, with roof failure and collapse inevitable. Residential areas will become wholly isolated and uninhabitable due to debris, fallen trees, and power poles, and supply outages may last for months. 

What Conditions Cause a Hurricane to Develop? 

For a hurricane to develop, the right conditions must be present. There are six accepted conditions responsible for hurricane development. These are: 

1. The temperature of the ocean’s water must be higher than 26 degrees celsius (79 degrees Fahrenheit). If temperatures are below this, a hurricane will not form, or it will weaken significantly once it moves across the water with a low temperature. In the tropical East Pacific and the tropical Atlantic, temperatures are often much higher than this. 

2. The distance from the equator must also be at a certain level for a hurricane to form. If the spin of the earth doesn’t result in corioles force, a hurricane will not form.

The corioles force is at its highest next to the poles and at its lowest by the equator, meaning that hurricanes are unable to form within a 5-degree latitude of the equator. corioles force creates a counterclockwise spin of low pressure in the Northern Hemisphere and a clockwise rotation of low pressure in the Southern Hemisphere.

3. Thirdly, there must be the correct saturated lapse rate gradient close to the central rotation of the storm. This lapse rate will make latent heat release at a high rate. Because hurricanes are warm-core storms, the lapse rate surrounding the eyewall must be unstable to make the air rise and condense any water vapor. 

4. One of the most important factors that cause a hurricane to develop is low vertical wind shear. Wind shear simply describes the change in wind speed with height – a hurricane will not form if the upper-level winds are too strong because strong upper-level winds can destroy the storm’s structure. 

5. The fifth ingredient needed to produce a hurricane is a high humidity value present on the surface and middle of the atmosphere. If there’s dry air in the middle of the atmosphere, a hurricane won’t be able to develop.

This is for two reasons: firstly, the dry air will cause water to evaporate, which reduces the structure of the hurricane and impedes its movement. Secondly, the dry air in the middle can cause a trade wind inversion.

A trade wind inversion will create warmer temperatures and dryness in the middle of the atmosphere because of the warming and sinking of the air in the middle. This prevents the deep convention and lapse rate needed to produce a hurricane. 

6. The final factor needed to produce a hurricane is a tropical wave. If a tropical wave encounters the right conditions, such as those outlined in the first five ingredients, the tropical wave will begin to develop into either a tropical storm or a hurricane. 

How Do You Get Warned of a Hurricane? 

A hurricane warning will be distributed by local TV and radio stations and online. Local meteorologists will forecast the impacts for their own areas, and the National Hurricane Centre will issue a broader forecast for the region. 

A local meteorologist is the only person with the authority to issue a hurricane warning or a hurricane watch in your area. These notices are usually given at 6am, 12 noon, 6pm, and midnight. 

The hurricane local statement, which we’ll explore in more depth below, will be prepared by the National Weather Service, and it’s usually available on their website. Local meteorologists may also provide links to this statement on their own websites. 

What is a Hurricane Local Statement? 

A hurricane local statement is prepared and issued by the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Offices (WFO).

This statement is issued to a county and gives the area specific details and guidance for their Country Warning Area (CWA) about an approaching or imminent hurricane.

A hurricane local statement will often include information about the intensity of a hurricane, its expected power, its forecasted track, and the impacts it’s expected to cause.

If you ever receive a hurricane local statement, do not ignore the message. You should read this guidance carefully and take it seriously.

These statements are designed to help you prepare for a hurricane, and the information you receive will help you keep as safe as possible in these conditions.  

These local statements are produced for the public in the United States and will be distributed to areas expected to be affected by the forecast.

These statements will often include information from local officials, including any measures being taken to protect property and life.

If these measures are yet to be implemented, the statement may include recommendations for precautionary measures in areas expected to be hit by the hurricane. 

To give you a better idea of what to expect from a hurricane local statement, let’s take a look at an example issued by the National Weather Service before the arrival of Hurricane Wilma in Key West, Florida.

The following example of a hurricane local statement was sourced from the following web archive.  

Hurricane Wilma was the most intense hurricane or tropical cyclone ever documented in the Atlantic. It affected Mexico, Cuba, and the U.S. in 2005, and it’s since become the third-costliest cyclone ever to hit the state of Florida. Its highest wind speed was 295mph and caused a total of 87 fatalities. 

105   

WTUS82 KEYW 232334 AAA  

HLSEYW  

FLZ076-077-078-GMZ031-032-033-052-053-054-072-073-074-075-240030-  

HURRICANE WILMA LOCAL STATEMENT…UPDATED PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS  

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE KEY WEST FL  

735 PM EDT SUN OCT 23 2005  

..A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR THE FLORIDA KEYS  

..A MANDATORY EVACUATION IS IN EFFECT FOR THE FLORIDA KEYS  

..A FLOOD WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR THE FLORIDA KEYS  

..A TORNADO WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR THE FLORIDA KEYS  

This is the first section of the statement that you’ll read. As you can see, this section always contains a general overview of the most critical points. Essentially, the top section of a hurricane local statement is a headline summary of the main events.  

..NEW INFORMATION SINCE LAST ISSUANCE  

STORM INFORMATION HAS BEEN UPDATED.  

WIND IMPACTS HAVE BEEN UPDATED.  

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS.  

..AREAS AFFECTED  

THIS STATEMENT IS SPECIFIC TO THE FLORIDA KEYS OF MONROE COUNTY.  

..WATCHES AND WARNINGS  

A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR ALL OF THE FLORIDA KEYS   

INCLUDING DRY TORTUGAS AND FLORIDA BAY…AND ALL SURROUNDING WATERS.   

THIS MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED WITHIN 24 HOURS. A   

FLOOD WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR ALL THE FLORIDA KEYS. A TORNADO WATCH   

IS IN EFFECT.  

..STORM INFORMATION  

AT 500 PM EDT THE CENTER OF HURRICANE WILMA WAS LOCATED NEAR   

LATITUDE 23.5 NORTH…LONGITUDE 84.9 WEST…ABOUT 210 MILES WEST   

SOUTHWEST OF KEY WEST. WILMA WAS MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHEAST NEAR 14   

MPH. A CONTINUED NORTHEASTWARD MOTION AND A GRADUAL INCREASE IN   

FORWARD SPEED ARE EXPECTED TONIGHT AND MONDAY. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED   

WINDS WERE NEAR 105 MPH WITH HIGHER GUSTS. WILMA IS A CATEGORY TWO   

HURRICANE. SOME INCREASE IN STRENGTH IS POSSIBLE TONIGHT AND EARLY   

MONDAY…AND WILMA COULD BE NEAR CATEGORY THREE STRENGTH AS IT NEARS   

THE SOUTHWESTERN FLORIDA COAST. THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL   

PRESSURE WAS 959 MB…OR 28.32 INCHES OF MERCURY.  

The above section of the hurricane local statement provides more information than the initial headline. Here, you’ll see a more detailed overview of any new updates since the statement was first distributed.

This is included to ensure that the most up-to-date information about the hurricane is not missed. If you need to prepare and protect yourself against a hurricane quickly, this section will give you the most critical information you need in real-time. 

..PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS  

MONROE COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT OFFICIALS HAVE RELEASED A   

SCHEDULE TO TERMINATE THE EVACUATION OF THE FLORIDA KEYS DUE TO   

HURRICANE WILMA. EVACUATIONS ENDED IN THE LOWER KEYS AND KEY WEST AS   

OF 5 PM. EVACUATIONS ARE TO END AT 6 PM IN THE MIDDLE KEYS INCLUDING   

MARATHON…AND AT 7 PM IN THE UPPER KEYS INCLUDING ISLAMORADA…KEY   

LARGO…OCEAN REEF…AND MAINLAND MONROE COUNTY. RESIDENTS AND   

MOTORISTS SHOULD SEEK SAFE AND STURDY SHELTER. RESIDENTS WHO HAVE   

NOT EVACUATED AND WHO DO NOT FEEL SAFE IN THEIR HOMES…ESPECIALLY   

IN MOBILE HOMES…CAN GO TO A REFUGE OF LAST RESORT AS FOLLOWS…KEY   

WEST HIGH SCHOOL AT 2100 FLAGLER AVENUE…SUGARLOAF SCHOOL MILE   

MARKER 19…STANLEY SWITLIK ELEMENTARY SCHOOL MILE MARKER 48…CORAL   

SHORES HIGH SCHOOL MILE MARKER 90…SHERATON KEY LARGO BEACH RESORT   

MILE MARKER 98 KEY LARGO…AND MARRIOT KEY LARGO BAY BEACH RESORT   

MILE MARKER 103 KEY LARGO. EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY…THE CROWNE LA   

CONCHA HOTEL IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE. OFFICIALS EMPHASIZE REFUGES OF   

LAST RESORT WILL NOT BE MANNED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS…AND   

THERE WILL BE NO SUPPLIES FOR EVACUEES. EVACUEES MUST BRING THEIR   

OWN WATER…BEDDING…AND SUPPLIES. NO PETS ARE PERMITTED AT REFUGES   

OF LAST RESORT. MONROE COUNTY OFFICES AND COURTS ARE TO BE CLOSED   

MONDAY AND TUESDAY. MONROE COUNTY SCHOOLS ARE TO BE CLOSED MONDAY   

AND TUESDAY. MONROE COUNTY SCHOOL DAYTIME CUSTODIANS SHOULD REPORT   

TUESDAY. ALL CAMPUSES OF FLORIDA KEYS COMMUNITY COLLEGE ARE TO BE   

CLOSED MONDAY. THE CITY OF KEY WEST WILL ENACT A CURFEW FROM 10 PM   

SUNDAY TO 7 AM MONDAY. THERE IS ALSO A VOLUNTARY CURFEW ON ALCOHOL   

SALES AT LOCAL BARS.  

..WIND IMPACTS  

SUSTAINED TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS WILL ARRIVE ACROSS THE LOWER   

AND MIDDLE KEYS DURING THE NEXT FEW HOURS…AND ACROSS THE UPPER   

KEYS BY LATE THIS EVENING. CONDITIONS ARE DETERIORATING ACROSS THE   

LOWER KEYS AND DRIVING IS NO LONGER RECOMMENDED. RESIDENTS IN THE   

MIDDLE AND UPPER KEYS HAVE JUST A FEW HOURS LEFT FOR EVACUATION.   

..MARINE IMPACTS  

SMALL CRAFT SHOULD REMAIN IN PORT. AS THE STORM APPROACHES…WIND   

DIRECTION WILL BE FROM THE SOUTHEAST INITIALLY. AS WILMA PASSES JUST   

WEST AND NORTH OF THE KEYS…THE MAXIMUM WINDS WILL COME FROM THE   

SOUTHWEST THEN WEST.   

..STORM SURGE FLOOD AND STORM TIDE IMPACTS  

STORM TIDES OF 2 TO 4 FEET ON THE ATLANTIC SIDE ARE EXPECTED LATE   

TONIGHT. THEN AS WINDS SHIFT TO THE WEST MONDAY MORNING…STORM   

TIDES OF 5 TO 8 FEET ABOVE NORMAL ARE INDICATED ON THE GULF SIDE AND   

THE BAY SIDE. HIGH TIDE WILL OCCUR MONDAY AT 230 AM IN KEY   

WEST…123 AM AT VACA CUT…208 AM AT WHALE HARBOR…AND 217 AM THE   

TAVERNIER CREEK BRIDGE OVER ROUTE 1.  

..TORNADO IMPACTS  

ISOLATED TORNADOS EMBEDDED IN OUTER RAINBANDS ARE A SIGNIFICANT   

THREAT WITH HURRICANE WILMA. A VIOLENT WATERSPOUT WAS SPOTTED 5 NM   

WEST OF KEY WEST AT 4 PM. THE GREATEST THREAT OF TORNADOS WILL OCCUR   

FROM THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH TOMORROW MORNING.   

..RAINFALL IMPACTS  

RAINFALL TOTALS OF 4 TO 8 INCHES WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS ARE   

POSSIBLE THROUGH TUESDAY. THE HEAVIEST RAINS ARE EXPECTED TONIGHT   

AND MONDAY. SEVERE FLOODING IS POSSIBLE. IF YOU LIVE IN A HIGHLY   

FLOOD-PRONE AREA TAKE ACTION TO PROTECT PROPERTY.   

Now the most up-to-date information has been given and an overview of the situation has been provided, the hurricane local statement goes into further detail about the potential impacts of the hurricane. As you can see, this information is split into several sections, including: 

Wind Impacts: This section describes what direction the winds will be coming in from and when they’re expected to hit certain areas. It may also give an overview of how the current winds are moving and their severity.

Guidance will also be given to the general public about whether evacuation is necessary and whether or not it’s safe to drive. 

Marine Impacts: The marine impacts section will give guidance to craft on the water. It will also advise sailors and craft where the winds are coming from. 

Storm Surge Flood and Storm Surge Tide Impacts: This section of the statement will detail expected storm tide heights and where this will be most severe. It may also describe what times weather forecasters have projected storm surge floods and storm surge tides to be at their worst. 

Tornado Impacts: The tornado section will advise whether tornados are expected and whether they have been spotted. If tornados are expected, this section will also suggest what time they may hit the region. 

Rainfall Impacts: This part of the statement will advise how much rainfall is expected in the region during the event. If severe flooding is possible, residents may be advised to evacuate or take action to protect their property. 

..NEXT UPDATE  

THE NEXT HURRICANE WILMA LOCAL STATEMENT WILL BE ISSUED AROUND 830   

PM…OR SOONER IF NEW INFORMATION BECOMES AVAILABLE. VISIT OUR KEY   

WEST NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WEBSITE AT WWW.WEATHER.GOV/KEYWEST.

The final part of the statement will tell the general public where to access any future updates about the hurricane. In this example, the public is told to visit the national weather service website for the most up-to-date statements.  

A hurricane local statement is the longest text-based statement issued by the National Weather Service. The reason these statements are so long is that these tropical systems can present significant threats to life and property.

If you have time to prepare yourself against an imminent hurricane, you should always read these advisories in full, as they’ll provide you with all the information you need to know about the approaching hurricane, and how you should be preparing yourself for its impacts. 

What is a Hurricane Local Statement, and What Does it Mean

Hurricane Preparation: What You Need to Know? 

If you live in a region that’s susceptible to hurricanes, you should always be prepared to take action.

It’s not always possible to predict the exact path of a hurricane, but there are things you can do to protect yourself, your property, and your family from its potential impacts. We’ll explore some of the most essential hurricane preparation tips below.

Remember: if you live in an area that’s prone to hurricanes, it’s good practice to follow these tips throughout the year.

This way, you won’t be caught off guard if a hurricane hits, and you’ll have the best chance of reducing the risk of damage to your property and life. 

Plan Accordingly

If hurricane season is approaching, it’s good practice to make a plan ahead of time for you and your family. Planning ahead could involve: 

  • Make a note of any emergency numbers and keep them somewhere that’s easy to access. This could be on your refrigerator or by a phone in your house. You should also put these numbers into your cell phone, so if you need to call for help, you can do it wherever you are.  
  • Gather an emergency supply kit and make sure your family understands how to use it. 
  • Find the nearest storm shelter and plan different routes to the location if you need to use it. 
  • If you have pets, familiarize yourself with places you can take them to in the event of an evacuation. This could be an animal shelter, pet hotel, or even with a friend who’s out of town. 

Gather Supplies 

Your next step should be to gather emergency supplies. Before, during, and after a hurricane hits, you may need supplies to keep your family safe.

Hurricanes can be incredibly destructive, and there’s a good chance that these events could cut off your access to power and water. You may also be unable to drive after a hurricane if your vehicle or the roads have been damaged. 

If these things happen, you’ll need to be prepared. To ensure you can keep you and your family safe before, during, and after a hurricane, you should prepare the following items: 

  • A supply of emergency food and water
  • Extra medicine 
  • Power sources such as flashlights, batteries, and portable power banks 
  • Documentation including passports, identification, medical documentation, and wills 

Know How to Interpret National Weather Service Alerts

If a hurricane is approaching your region, you should be monitoring any alerts closely.

Alerts from the National Weather Service will be issued on the tv, radio, or online. If a hurricane is predicted to affect your region, there are two types of alerts that may be issued. These alerts are: 

Hurricane Watch: A hurricane watch alert means that hurricane conditions are possible but not inevitable. These hurricane watch alerts are usually issued 48 hours before the hurricane is expected to start. 

Hurricane Warning: A hurricane warning is more serious than a hurricane watch alert. A hurricane warning suggests that these tropical strength winds are expected in your region, and this warning will usually be given 36 hours before a storm is likely to occur.

This will give you the time you need to prepare, protect yourself and your property, and evacuate if necessary. 

Get Your Pets and Family Ready 

If a hurricane is expected to hit, you’ll need to prepare your family and pets for the event. This preparation could involve: 

  • Discussing your emergency plan with your family and making sure they understand what to do in the event of an emergency
  • Keep a close eye on hurricane updates either via the radio, tv, or online
  • If you’re living with elderly or impaired loved ones, you should call your local hospital, the police, or a public health department to get advice on how to evacuate quickly if necessary
  • Prepare to put your pets in a safe place before the hurricane hits

Prepare Your Home 

Before the hurricane hits, you should also be taking action to protect and prepare your property. Getting your home ready for the hurricane may include: 

Covering and securing your windows and doors to keep you safe from broken glass. You could use storm shutters or even nail plywood to the frame to protect your windows

Check the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector to protect yourself and your family against CO poisoning 

Fill up water containers with clean drinking water. If you lose access to your supply in the storm, you’ll need a reliable supply of water to sustain yourself until your supply is restored.

You could also fill your sinks and bathtubs with water for washing if you’re concerned that your supply may be cut off for a long period of time 

Get ready to turn off your power. If power lines are down or there’s significant flooding, you may need to turn your power off

You should also clean your yard and ensure there’s nothing there that could damage your home during the storm. This could involve moving any bikes, furniture, tanks, or building material out of the way and storing them somewhere safe until the hurricane passes 

Get Your Car Ready 

Before the hurricane hits, you’ll also need to make sure your car is ready in case you need to evacuate. To get your car ready for the hurricane, you should: 

  • Fill up the gas tank
  • Move your vehicles under cover from the storm, such as in a garage
  • Store an emergency kit in your car 

If you don’t own a vehicle, you should make plans with your loved ones or the local authorities to travel if you need to evacuate the area. 

Take Inventory of Your Personal Property

Before a hurricane hits, it’s a good idea to take an inventory of your personal property. This will help you figure out if you’ve purchased enough insurance to replace any lost or damaged possessions.

Taking inventory can also speed up the claims process and will be helpful if you need to apply for any disaster aid. When taking inventory of your personal property, you should take photos and videos of your belongings wherever possible. 

Be Ready to Evacuate or Remain at Home 

If a hurricane is approaching your region, keep tabs on local weather alerts, and follow the authorities’ guidance. You should always listen to the advice of your authorities on whether to evacuate or stay inside your home. 

If a hurricane is approaching, you may be advised to evacuate. You should never ignore an order to evacuate the area; even the most sturdy structures may not survive the power of a hurricane.

If you’ve been advised to evacuate, it’s because the hurricane presents a severe threat to life. 

If you’ve been ordered to stay at home, this may be because conditions are too dangerous to travel in. In these cases, staying at home is often safer than attempting to travel in a storm. 

If you do need to evacuate your home, here’s what you should be doing: 

  • Gather your emergency supplies and only travel with the necessary equipment. This could be medicine, personal identification, a phone, a power charger, money, etc. 
  • Before you leave your home, unplug all of your appliances, and switch off the gas, water, and electricity supplies. 
  • Ask your local authorities if they’re offering accommodation for your pets and pet owners. 
  • Only take the roads that emergency workers have advised you to travel on, even if there’s traffic. Other routes may be too dangerous, flooded, or blocked. Attempting to drive through these areas can be hazardous, and your vehicle could easily get swept away or damaged on a flooded or blocked road. If you’ve been advised to stay at home, this is because driving conditions may be too dangerous.

If you’ve been given a stay-at-home order, here’s what you need to do: 

  • Keep an emergency supply kit in your home, and place it somewhere where it can be accessed easily
  • Keep checking your local tv and radio stations for updates on the hurricane
  • Stay away from your windows. If you have time, try boarding up your windows against broken glass. If you don’t have time, stay as far away from your windows as possible, or locate a room without windows. 
  • Even if the weather looks calm outside, stay inside at all times. Always wait until you’ve received official notification that the hurricane is over before you attempt to travel or leave your home. 
  • Get ready to leave – although you’ve been advised to stay home, you may be told to leave if the storm worsens. It’s always wise to have a bug-out bag prepared, and make a plan for your evacuation if you need it. 

What Should You Have In a Hurricane Emergency Kit? 

We’ve talked a lot about hurricane emergency kits, but what exactly should you have in yours? 

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), here are the most essential things you should be storing in your hurricane emergency kit: 

  • A cell phone and charger
  • Cash (ATMs might be down)
  • Extra fuel supplies for vehicles and generators
  • A first aid kit
  • A flashlight 
  • A week’s supply of medication and medical items
  • Items for your personal hygiene and sanitation 
  • Emergency contact information for your family and friends
  • Spare batteries
  • A gallon of water per person, per day (for an evacuation, FEMA recommends a 3-day supply. For a stay-at-home order, you should have up to two weeks’ worth of water)
  • Food; particularly non-perishable items (the same FEMA guidelines for water also apply to food)
  • Copies of your personal documents, including insurance policies, passports, proof of your address, and medical documentation 

Remember, these items are a rough guideline. Depending on you and your family’s requirements, you may need to include more items, such as pet supplies, extra house or car keys, extra medical items, baby supplies, towels, plastic sheeting, and more. 

Hurricane Facts You Need to Know 

Now we know how to find and interpret hurricane local statements, how hurricanes are formed, and how to prepare for them, here are some of the most essential hurricane facts you need to know. 

Not only are those facts fascinating and informative, but they can enhance your understanding of the way hurricanes move and develop, improving your ability to prepare for hurricane season. 

  • Almost 40% of hurricanes in the United States hit Florida. 
  • A staggering one in three dog and cat owners don’t have a plan to protect their pets in the event of a hurricane. Contact your local animal shelters, friends, and family to protect your pets and keep them safe from these events. 
  • Every fall and summer, thunderstorms will develop off the coast of Africa. Only 14 of these storms will develop into hurricanes each year. 
  • Inland flooding is one of the most serious hidden dangers of tropical cyclones. When we look at the amount of hurricane-related deaths that occur each year, almost 50% are caused by flooding and happen inland. In areas where tropical storms occur, it’s not uncommon to see rain from the feet of a hurricane. 
  • Hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin runs from the 1st of June to the 30th of November, and almost 100% of all tropical cyclones develop in this period. This is because, during these months, upper-level pattern winds occur, which can cause cyclones to develop. Hurricanes also prefer deep and warm water, making these conditions perfect for their development. 
  • The speed and path of a hurricane will depend on its interactions with the atmosphere and the ocean. Whether or not other weather patterns are present can also determine how destructive a hurricane is. These conditions can be hard to monitor, making it difficult for meteorologists to predict the direction and speed of an approaching hurricane. 
  • The right side of a hurricane is almost always considered the be the most dangerous. 
  • The eye of a hurricane is surprisingly calm and can produce completely clear areas spanning between 20-40 miles wide, 
  • The average hurricane can be 300 miles wide. However, their size can vary significantly depending on atmospheric conditions. 
  • Many of the tropical storms that develop each year remain in the ocean. However, some will develop into hurricanes. In the average 3-year period, an estimated five hurricanes will hit the United States and can cause anywhere between 50-100 fatalities, depending on their severity. 
  • The outer rainbands of a storm consist of several dense bands of thunderstorms. These bands can be anywhere between 2 to 10 miles wide and as much as 50 – 300 miles long. 
  • Hurricanes are usually named because it’s easier to remember a storm’s name than its longitude and latitude. This makes it easier for meteorologists and the general public to track the storm, and it can prevent confusion if there’s more than one storm happening at the same time. 
  • Hurricane Katrina was one of the most destructive and the costliest category 5 hurricanes to occur. Hurricane Katrina happened in 2005, and it caused an estimated $125 billion worth of damage. This hurricane also caused a staggering 1,800 fatalities. 

The Bottom Line 

Of all the tropical storms that develop each year, only a few become destructive enough to earn the hurricane title.

If you live in an area that’s susceptible to hurricanes, it’s important to understand how they develop and what you need to do to protect yourself, your family, and your property.

This is why consulting your hurricane local statement is one of the most important things you can do in the event of a hurricane. 

We hope this article has helped you to interpret a hurricane local statement, and given you the guidance you need to protect yourself and your loved ones in the event of a catastrophic event. 

Andrew Capper