Facts about Hurricanes

  1. Hurricanes are large, spiraling tropical storms that can pack wind speeds of over 160 mph and unleash more than 2.4 trillion gallons of rain a day.[1]
  2. The deadliest U.S. hurricane on record was a Category 4 storm that hit the island city of Galveston, Texas, on Sept. 8, 1900. Some 8,000 people lost their lives when the island was destroyed by 15-ft waves and 130-mph winds.[2]
  3. Over 1/3 of cat and dog owners don’t have a disaster preparedness plan in place for their animals. Help neighbors and friends come up with a hurricane plan for their pets. Sign up for Save Our Pets.[3]
  4. In the Atlantic, hurricane season starts June 1, while in the Pacific it starts May 15. Both end on November 30.[4]
  5. When they come onto land, the heavy rain, strong winds and heavy waves can damage buildings, trees and cars. The heavy waves are called a storm surge.[5]
  6. 40% of the hurricanes that occur in the United States hit Florida.[6]
  7. The difference between a tropical storm and a hurricane is wind speed – tropical storms usually bring winds of 36 to 47 mph, whereas hurricane wind speeds are at least 74 mph.[7]
  8. Hurricanes rotate in a counter-clockwise direction around the eye. The rotating storm clouds create the “eye wall,” which is the most destructive part of the storm.[8]
  9. Hurricanes are classified into 5 categories, based on their wind speeds and potential to cause damage. Names can be “retired” if a hurricane has been really big and destructive. Retired names include Katrina, Andrew, Mitch and most recently Sandy.[9]
  10. When the National Hurricane Center began giving official names to storms in 1953, they were all female. This practice of using only women’s names ended in 1978.[10]
  11. The costliest hurricane to make landfall was Hurricane Katrina, a Category 5 storm that slammed Louisiana in August of 2005. Damages cost an estimated $108 billion.[11]
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