Some of the Most Common Hurricane Questions in South Florida

Common Hurricane Questions in South Florida

Do you want to know more about hurricanes so you can prepare your home and family for severe weather events? Take a look at these common questions to learn what to expect and how to stay safe.

Facts About Hurricanes

What Is a Hurricane?

A hurricane is a severe, swirling storm that produces winds of 74 mph or higher. They form over warm temperature ocean waters and may strike land. Heavy rains, storm surges, flooding, and severe winds accompany these large and dangerous storms.

Is a Hurricane a Tropical Storm?

A hurricane is different than a tropical storm. They start as a tropical disturbance and grow into a rotating thunderstorm called a tropical depression. If it continues to grow, it is referred to as a tropical storm when wind speeds reach 63 mph and it becomes a hurricane at winds of 74 mph.

What Happens Before a Hurricane?

Warning signs of an approaching hurricane include cloudy skies, heavy rainfall, rough tides, falling atmospheric pressure, and increased wind speeds.

What Conditions Are Needed for a Hurricane to Form?

There are two known necessary conditions for these storms to form. The first is warm water with a surface temperature of at least 79 degrees Fahrenheit. The second is winds that remain steady in speed and direction as they move upwards into the sky.

How Are Hurricanes Predicted?

Scientists use data collected from radar, satellites, and even aircraft reconnaissance, combined with computer models to analyze, predict, and track hurricanes.

How Do They Name Hurricanes?

There are six lists of names for tropical storms and hurricanes that are rotated yearly. Every year, storms are named in alphabetical order. If a particular hurricane causes extensive damage, its name is usually removed from the list for future hurricanes and a new name takes its place.

How Are Hurricanes Tracked?

With satellites, reconnaissance aircraft, and radar

When Is Hurricane Season in Florida?

June 1 through November 30

What Months Are the Worst for Hurricanes?

Mid-August until late October

How Do Hurricanes Affect the Environment?

Severe winds and flooding dramatically change ecosystems by uprooting plants, killing animals, and causing widespread habitat changes

What Is the National Hurricane Center?

The National Hurricane Center’s  purpose is to track hurricanes, issue warnings, and increase understanding to save lives and lower the risk of property loss.

How Bad Is a Category 1 Hurricane?

Category 1 hurricanes have wind speeds of 74-95 mph with falling debris and risk to older mobile homes.

What Is a Cat 4 Hurricane?

Category 4 hurricanes have wind speeds of 130 to 156 mph.

What Is the Worst Category Hurricane?

Category 5 hurricanes are the worst category and have wind speeds of 157 mph or greater.

What Is a Hurricane Warning?

A warning is issued when hurricane conditions are expected to hit an area within 24 hours

What Is a Hurricane Watch?

Hurricane watches mean that conditions are possible for a hurricane

Facts About Tropical Storms

What Is a Tropical Storm?

A tropical cyclone with wind speeds between 39 mph to 74 mph

What Are Tropical Storm Wind Speeds?

39-74 mph

What Is a Tropical Storm Warning?

Tropical storm conditions are expected within 36 hours

What Is a Tropical Storm Watch?

An alert that tropical storm conditions are possible

Where Do Most Tropical Storms Occur?

The Pacific Ocean, particularly the western Pacific

What to Do During a Tropical Storm?

Listen to local weather updates for advice, prepare to evacuate if necessary, and stay indoors away from windows

Is It Safe to Drive in a Tropical Storm?

Driving during a tropical storm is not advised

How Long Does a Tropical Storm Last?

The full life cycle lasts anywhere from a day to a month

How to Get Tropical Storm Updates?

Check the National Hurricane Center or your local weather station for current news and updates in your area.

Hurricanes in History: Facts About the Most Noteworthy Storms

What Hurricane Hit Florida in 1985?

What Year Was Hurricane Andrew?

What Category Was Hurricane Andrew?

Category 5

What Year Was Hurricane Ivan?

Where Did Hurricane Ivan Make Landfall?

West of Gulf Shores, Alabama

How Strong Was Hurricane Ivan?

Category 3

How Long Did Hurricane Ivan Last?

The storm lasted from September 2, 2004, until September 25, 2004

What Year Was Hurricane Charley?

What Category Was Hurricane Charley When It Hit Florida?

Category 4

What Year Was Hurricane Wilma?

What Category Was Hurricane Wilma?

Category 3

Where Did Hurricane Katrina Hit?

New Orleans, Louisiana

When Was Hurricane Katrina?

What Category Was Hurricane Katrina?

Category 5

What Year Was Hurricane Sandy?

What Category Was Hurricane Sandy?

Category 3, also called a Superstorm

Where Did Hurricane Sandy Hit?

Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, The Bahamas, and Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states in the U.S.

When Was Hurricane Irma?

When Did Hurricane Irma Hit Florida?

Category 5 Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida as a Category 4 storm on September 10th

How Should You Prepare for a Hurricane?

How to Prepare Your House for a Hurricane

What Are Some Safety Tips for Hurricanes?

If a hurricane is imminent in your area, there are several things you should do:

Always listen to a trusted news source for the latest updates and guidelines for your area.

Hurricane Season questions

Hurricane Evacuation

What Does a Mandatory Hurricane Evacuation Mean?

Danger is imminent and conditions pose a serious risk to the lives of everyone in the evacuation zone

Hurricane Evacuation Zones in Florida

Hurricane evacuation zones are designated by letter according to the level of risk. Know your zone and follow recommended evacuation orders.

When to Evacuate for a Hurricane

Leave immediately after a hurricane watch has been issued, or if you were instructed by the local authorities

Should You Evacuate for a Category 3 Hurricane?

Category 3 storms are a significant threat, and evacuation is recommended in many cases

What to Pack for a Hurricane Evacuation?

A basic hurricane preparation kit should contain:

  • Water and food
  • Battery-powered radio
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle
  • Sanitation supplies like garbage bags and moist towelettes
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with a backup battery

During periods of high threat of severe weather, it’s a good idea to have a bag ready to go in case of an emergency evacuation. Use a hurricane evacuation checklist to make sure you don’t forget any essentials.

Hurricane Pet Safety

If you have pets, get them microchipped and put together a bag with necessities like food, water, medicines, a leash, waste disposal bags, and a crate for safety. Include some toys or treats to help your pet stay calm. Know where Florida pet-friendly evacuation shelters are located and have a backup caregiver lined up if you are unable to keep your pet with you.

Why Is It Important to Make Sure You Have a Full Tank of Gas before a Hurricane

Fill up your gas tank before a hurricane so you are prepared to travel and don’t risk higher prices or gas shortages. Also, after a hurricane, power outages and road problems for fuel distribution can cause difficulty in getting gas after the storm.

Do Flights Get Cancelled Due to Tropical Storms?

A flight can get delayed or canceled because of a tropical storm. It depends on the severity, location, and flight route.


Florida Storm Shelters

If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, you may want to invest in a storm shelter. These are small, above-ground, or in-closet rooms designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane or EF-5 tornado.

You can also seek out community-designated buildings that offer shelter during severe storms.

Safety Tips

Some of the basic safety measures for hurricanes include gathering supplies, like water, food, and flashlights for hurricanes. You should also have a hurricane disaster plan that everyone in your family is familiar with. Include meeting places, contact numbers, and basic safety procedures.

Safety Tips

Some of the basic safety measures for hurricanes include gathering supplies, like water, food, and flashlights for hurricanes. You should also have a hurricane disaster plan that everyone in your family is familiar with. Include meeting places, contact numbers, and basic safety procedures.

Hurricane Emergency Supply List

Hurricane emergency supplies should include:

  • Emergency food and water supply
  • First aid kit and medicines
  • Safety and personal items
  • Important documents, such as I.D.’s, medical documents, and wills
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Hurricane emergency radio
  • Hurricane flashlight
  • Battery-operated hurricane lights
  • Battery-operated TV for hurricanes

Collect a stock of emergency supplies and update it often to make sure food is fresh and batteries work.

Dangers of Hurricane Batteries

Always store, use, and dispose of batteries as directed. They can pose a fire risk, and also contain toxic chemicals that can contaminate groundwater.

Can You Use Candles During a Hurricane?

You should avoid using candles during any strong storm. The potential dangers of a candle causing a fire inside a home or business is way too high; and during a dangerous storm it will be difficult (and quite possibly unlikely) for any emergency rescue teams to help. Also, winds can damage gas lines and cause leaks, so lighting any type of fire is a potential hazard and should be avoided.

Florida Tax Holiday for Hurricane Supplies

When Is Hurricane Tax-Free Week in Florida?

Save on supplies in the lead-up to hurricane season by making purchasing Florida tax-free hurricane supplies. This usually happens at the end of May or early June. The tax holiday in 2022 ran from May 28 through June 10.

What Hurricane Supplies Are Tax-Free?

Some of the supplies available tax-free for disaster prep include:

  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Pet leashes and collars
  • Batteries and weather radios
  • Tarps
  • Generators
  • Flashlights

Qualifying items have price restrictions.

Power Outages from Hurricanes

How to Prepare for a Power Outage During a Hurricane

It’s best to turn off and unplug appliances to prevent damage from a power surge. Have a backup hurricane power supply available, such as a generator. Keep plenty of flashlights and battery-powered lanterns on hand.

Cell Phones During Hurricanes

Your cell phone allows you to communicate and access vital information in an emergency. Make the most of your battery by avoiding power-draining activities and prioritizing emergency use only. Have a secondary battery or cordless cell phone backup chargers available if possible.

Hurricane Food and Water Safety

Hurricane Emergency Food List

Your hurricane food supply should consist of:

  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Canned meat
  • Canned soups
  • Canned pasta
  • Canned beans
  • Peanut butter
  • Energy bars
  • Bread and crackers
  • Dry cereal
  • Rice
  • Oats

All items should be zero or minimal prep.

Why Do You Need Bottled Water for a Hurricane?

Hurricanes can impact the public water system, making water difficult to access or unsafe to drink. Plan on one gallon of bottled drinking water for each person per day.

Why Do You Fill the Bathtub During a Hurricane?

In an emergency, water from a filled bathtub can be used to flush the toilet, wash dishes, or purified for drinking.

What to Do After a Hurricane

Safety Tips after a Hurricane

Once the hurricane is over, the danger hasn’t passed. Follow these guidelines to stay safe:

  • Stay away from floodwater
  • Don’t use wet electrical devices
  • Avoid power lines
  • Protect yourself against pests
  • Wash your hands
  • Take care of injuries
  • Clean your home safely
  • Eat and drink only what is deemed safe

You may need to contact a professional to help you with cleanup efforts that are a risk to your safety.

Generator Safety after a Hurricane

Power outages are almost guaranteed after a hurricane. This is why you need to have a generator for hurricane season. Follow basic generator safety by keeping it dry, and clean, and give it space on all sides for airflow. Never use a generator indoors as they can produce carbon monoxide.

Hurricane-Proof Your Home or Business with Signature Impact Windows and Doors

Do you want to make energy-efficient home improvements that protect your house from severe tropical weather and hurricanes? Signature Impact Windows & Doors in Miami has a wide range of impact doors and windows designed to withstand hurricane-force winds, pressure, and even flying debris.

Secure your home and get peace of mind in knowing you are prepared for any type of weather. Convenient 100% financing for impact windows and doors is available. Call us today at 305-912-7493 to discuss your project needs or request a free quote! You may also contact us online with questions.

hurricane windows miami