It's no surprise to anyone that Florida is experiencing tough times with the onset of Hurricane Ian. While hurricanes are no stranger to the residents of Florida, preparedness is all too often forgotten about. Let's dig into what a hurricane is, and how we can be prepared for one.
What is a hurricane?
A hurricane is categorized as a tropical storm and falls under the classification of a cyclone. Cyclones rotate with rapid speeds, causing winds to pick up and cause much destruction. Rain, winds, and storms can be expected during a hurricane.
What causes a hurricane?
Hurricanes are fueled by warm waters. They may start as a small, tropical storm, but then they absorb the heat from tropical waters. This creates low pressure beneath the clouds where the warmth is absorbed into the storm and then cooled. When this happens, it creates more room for air and larger storm clouds, therefore creating more dangerous and extreme conditions.
What stops a hurricane?
So far, the only real solution to a hurricane is dry air. Scientists have worked to try and develop systems that can impede or steer hurricanes to minimize damage, but typically they have to play their course. When the hurricanes reach dry air, this causes there to be less moisture for it to fuel upon, and causes evaporation and trade winds that can keep the storm from progressing.
How to be prepared?
First and foremost, it's important to heed the advice of emergency responders. If you are being evacuated, gather your necessities and get ready to go. Having a go bag is a great tool to make sure that you and your family are prepared for evacuation.
The American Red Cross has a detailed list on their site for what to pack, but the key ingredients include:
First Aid Kit
Important documents (house deed, identification, medical documents for each member of the family, passports, etc.)
Portable and non-portable cell phone chargers
Personal hygiene products
If you are able to stay at home, the same things are important to have stocked up inside, and having a go bag in case is a huge benefit to your family. Everyone should have their own go bag in case of an emergency. Being prepared in Florida is especially important while Hurricane Ian is still wreaking havoc, so stay up to date on local news and emergency procedures for your area.