Tag: Hurricane

Experts Warn of Unanticipated Dangers This Hurricane Season

Hurricanes are categorized on a scale from 1 to 5. While Category 5 hurricanes may draw the most attention in headlines, those giant storms may not always pose the greatest threat.

In 2010, the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale became the official method for categorizing hurricanes. “It’s a great way to provide shorthand wind risk,” Michael Brennan, branch chief of the Hurricane Specialist Unit at the National Hurricane Center said in an interview with National Geographic.

However, recent data indicates more than 88% of hurricane-related fatalities occur because of factors other than wind, such as storm surge and electrical outages. For example, Hurricane Laura claimed 28 lives when it made landfall in the Gulf of Mexico in 2020. Nearly all of them occurred after the storm had already passed.

So, in some cases, the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale can then lure residents of hurricane-prone areas into a false sense of security. In the end, disaster preparedness is pivotal to keeping yourself and your household safe during hurricane season.

“You want to know what your risk is before a storm ever threatens you,” Michael said. “You have to do that analysis and find out if your house is safe, and if not, get somewhere safe.”

To help you stay safe in the event of a hurricane, Convoy of Hope has created a family preparedness guide. It can be found here.Throughout this hurricane season, Convoy of Hope suggests you stay informed and prepared to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. To donate to Convoy’s Disaster Services team as we respond in times of disaster, click here.

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Disaster Services
Hurricane Elsa (lower right) forms off the northern coast of South America. Hurricane Elsa (lower right) forms off the northern coast of South America.

One Month Into Hurricane Season, Convoy of Hope Stands Ready

Hurricane season is underway, and Convoy of Hope has all eyes on the seas. Convoy’s Disaster Services team stands ready to offer help and hope in every storm.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting an active hurricane season this year. They expect to see 13 to 20 named storms. Six to 10 of those are expected to become hurricanes, which are classified as storms with winds of 74 mph or higher. Of those hurricanes, 3 to 5 could become a major hurricane with winds of 111 mph or higher.

Although the Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 1, Hurricane Elsa — the first hurricane of the year — formed in the Atlantic early Friday morning. 

Whatever may come, Convoy of Hope is trained to respond and serve people in need during the aftermath of disaster.

“We have both our staff and lead volunteers around the nation trained and ready to go at a moment’s notice,” Stacy Lamb, Senior Director of Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team said.

NOAA spokesperson and meteorologist Dennis Feltgen says his team predicts the hurricane outlook with 70% confidence. The Atlantic hurricane season extends through November 30.

“Now is the time for communities along the coastline as well as inland to get prepared for the dangers that hurricanes can bring,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “The experts at NOAA are poised to deliver lifesaving early warnings and forecasts to communities, which will also help minimize the economic impacts of storms.”

In the aftermath, Convoy of Hope is prepared to bring hope and rebuild lives. You are a big part in offering relief. To support our disaster response team, click here.

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New ways to stay safe this hurricane season

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season will be more active than usual. They are expecting 13-20 named storms and 6-10 hurricanes, approximately half of which may be major hurricanes.

Recent research suggests a new focus for hurricane safety this year. A look at last year’s hurricane season showed that, while preparing for this year’s hurricane season, residents of coastal areas should plan for indirect threats in addition to the immediate dangers hurricanes present.

For years, storm surge has been regarded as the most deadly of the threats that hurricanes pose. Hurricane Laura brought a record-breaking 17-foot storm surge when it made landfall in August 2020. However, nearly all fatalities occurred after the storm passed. At least half were caused by carbon monoxide poisoning from improper generator use.

“It appears that most of the deaths are going to be indirect,” said Ed Rappaport, Deputy Director of the National Hurricane Center. “Most of the deaths appear to be … associated with the aftermath of the storm, the recovery period, and long times without power.”

Hurricane Laura caused severe damage to Louisiana’s electric grid, leaving many without power for weeks at a time. This proved to be Laura’s deadliest trait. Experts urge people in coastal areas to prepare for the effects both during and after a storm. Long periods without power may be unavoidable after a hurricane makes landfall.

Convoy of Hope has created a family preparedness plan, which can be found here. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has started a campaign to help stop carbon monoxide poisoning. Additionally, the National Weather Service has numerous resources to provide hurricane safety information.

“Last year was a record season,” Deanne Criswell of the Federal Emergency Management Agency said. “We don’t know what this season is going to be, but it just takes one storm.”

Throughout this hurricane season, Convoy of Hope suggests you stay informed and prepared to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. To donate to Convoy’s Disaster Services initiative as we continue to respond in times of disaster, click here.

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Understanding Hurricanes: Safety in Education and Preparation

“Hurricanes are the most awesome, violent storms on Earth,” NASA once said. With damaging winds, deadly storm surge, and up to 100 lateral miles of rainfall, hurricanes are definitely a force to be reckoned with.

Hurricane season begins on June 1 and ends on November 30, according to the National Weather Service. As hurricane season approaches, it’s important to stay informed and to be ready for the possibility of severe weather in coastal areas. Education and preparation can make an incredible difference when disaster strikes.

Hurricanes need two primary ingredients to form: heat and wind. Warm, damp air over the ocean fuels a hurricane’s rotation when the air rises and cooler air rushes in to take its place. As this cycle continues, wind speeds increase until a tropical storm forms. Once the tropical storm’s winds reach 74 mph, the storm becomes a hurricane — which will continue to rotate and suck up sea water at a rate of up to 2 billion tons per day.

A hurricane is categorized by its wind speed using the following scale:

  • Category 1: 74-95 mph winds
  • Category 2: 96-110 mph winds
  • Category 3: 111-130 mph winds
  • Category 4: 131-155 mph winds
  • Category 5: 155+ mph winds

When a hurricane makes landfall, it generally loses power as it moves inland and loses the strength it gained from the warm ocean water. However, storm surge — which National Geographic estimates accounts for 90% of hurricane fatalities — usually accompanies a hurricane as it approaches the coast. Storm surge occurs when hurricane winds send water above the shoreline, rising up to 20 feet and rushing inland up to 100 miles.

If you find yourself in the path of a hurricane, the National Weather Service recommends boarding your windows, listening to weather updates, and following instructions — including evacuation orders — from local officials. If you do not evacuate, take shelter in the interior-most room of your home and stay clear of windows, skylights, and glass doors.

Throughout Hurricane Preparedness Week, and in preparation for all types of disasters that occur year-round, Convoy of Hope remains equipped to respond. With your help, we can provide hope in every storm.

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Storm After Storm, Hope Remains

“The wind was terrible,” Christian said with a somber look on his face. “As the storm grew stronger and stronger … me and my wife were both holding the French doors shut.”

No sooner had survivors like Christian begun assessing the damage Hurricane Laura caused than Convoy of Hope sprang into action. Hurricane Laura was one of 26 disasters in the U.S. that Convoy of Hope responded to in 2020. Additionally, we responded to 36 disasters overseas, serving more than 1 million people internationally and more than 4.5 million people domestically.

Christian and his wife were trapped in their home when Hurricane Laura struck. Back in 2005, Christian and his family found themselves in a similar situation. Hurricane Rita decimated the Lake Charles area of Louisiana, leaving many without food, water, shelter, or other necessities. It was then that Christian had his first experience with Convoy of Hope.

“Convoy of Hope helped us tremendously. They were our lifeline for three weeks,” he said.

After Hurricane Laura dissipated, more than 450 volunteers distributed close to 1.6 million pounds of resources to people in need. In order to give back after his experience in 2005, Christian decided to become a volunteer with Convoy of Hope.

“As we give food, as we give water, people receive the help, I think it gives a little hope,” Christian said.

Because of volunteers like Christian and supporters around the world, Convoy of Hope served nearly 60,000 individuals across 16 cities in Louisiana. Thank you for helping us provide hope in every storm.

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Disaster Services / Field Story