Hunker down for hurricane season

Hurricanes are powerful and destructive storms that often bring other extreme weather conditions like high winds, heavy rain, and flooding. June 1 marks the beginning of hurricane season in the US, so now is the perfect time to study up on hurricanes and review your readiness plans. And as always, access to offline safety tips and health how-tos during a natural disaster (or whenever you need them) are on the GOES app.


⛈️ What’s what?

A storm moves through three stages before becoming a hurricane. 

  • First, a tropical disturbance: when wind spirals and gathers clusters of thunderclouds (learn how a storm is formed in the GOES app).
  • A tropical depression happens next if winds reach 25-38 mph (40-62 km/hr). As the thunderstorm grows and causes an area of high pressure, the winds drive outward.
  • It becomes a tropical storm if winds reach 39-73 mph (63-118 km/h).
  • The storm is officially classified a hurricane once its winds reach at least 74 mph (119 km/h) for a minute or more.


Hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones, are all the same type of meteorologic event. Their name depends on the location of the storm’s formation:

  • Hurricanes form in the Atlantic, Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and eastern Pacific oceans
  • Typhoons are found in the western and northern Pacific
  • Cyclones are in the South Pacific and Indian Oceans

No matter where you are, GOES will alert you of incoming natural disasters to help you weather any storm, step-by-step.

⚠️ Preparing for a hurricane

Unlike other natural disasters, we usually have some warning time to prepare for an oncoming hurricane. Still, that doesn’t mean we should be caught unprepared. Get familiar with these steps so you can be ready as soon as you receive an alert:

  • Know your area’s hurricane and evacuation risk
    • Hurricanes can affect and damage communities both inland and coastal.
    • Visit to review your emergency plan
  • Make an emergency kit
    • Your reserve of supplies should be able to last your household at least 3 days
  • Prepare your home
    • Expect power outages, disruption to water, and potential wind damage.
  • Make a plan
    • Discuss your emergency plan with your family, so your whole household knows how and where to evacuate if a disaster happens, day or night.
  • Be prepared to follow local evacuation orders.
    • If you are in an evacuation zone, it means there’s a risk in staying there. Local agencies will usually designate nearby shelters which will be safer places to stay through the storm.
    • Remember: “Run from the water, hide from the wind” to avoid storm surge, which accounts for 90% of hurricane fatalities.


🏠 During a hurricane

If you’ve ever lived where hurricanes are common, you know patience is a keyword for survival. It can take hours for one to pass. Stay safe while you wait by following these guidelines:

  • Avoid coastal areas, find high ground: Pay attention to potential evacuation alerts, especially if you live in a coastal area. The later you wait, the more dangerous it will likely become to evacuate.
  • Do not cross flooded areas, by foot or car: Storm surge, large waves, and rip tides can make coastlines dangerous for hundreds of miles.
  • Stay inside! Find the safest structure to shelter in, and stay there until the storm has passed. Don’t go outside until you get an official message that the hurricane is over.


🌊 Forward thinking

With ocean water temperatures rising, experts warn there’s an especially active hurricane season ahead. Now more than ever, it is essential we take care of our earth and prepare for emergencies, so we can also take care of ourselves and each other. The best places to seek shelter, what to do if you’re in a car during a hurricane, and more, are on the GOES Health app.

Prepare for this hurricane season by studying up on the storms and reviewing your readiness plans.
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