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Public Information Statement

Statement as of 6:41 AM EDT on May 26, 2015


... Public information statement...

This week is hurricane preparedness week for 2015.

All week long the National Weather Service will issue informative
messages to help you prepare for the hurricane season. Each day we
will cover a different topic. Today we will talk about high winds in
tropical systems.

The Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale classifies hurricanes into
five categories based on their sustained wind speed at the indicated
time. Hurricanes reaching category 3 and higher are considered major
hurricanes because of their potential for significant loss of life
and property. Category 1 and 2 storms are still dangerous and
require preventive measures.

It is important that you know your Hurricane Warning terminology
the difference between watches and warning:

Hurricane warning: an announcement that sustained winds of 74 mph
or higher are expected somewhere within the specified area in
association with a tropical, subtropical, or Post-tropical cyclone.
Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once
winds reach tropical storm force, the warning is issued 36 hours in
advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds. The
warning can remain in effect when dangerously high water or a
combination of dangerously high water and waves continue, even
though winds may be less than hurricane force.

Hurricane watch: an announcement that sustained winds of 74 mph or
higher are possible somewhere within the specified area in
association with a tropical, subtropical, or Post-tropical cyclone.
Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once
winds reach tropical storm force, the watch is issued 48 hours in
advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

Tropical storm warning: an announcement that sustained winds of 39
to 73 mph are expected somewhere within the specified area within 36
hours in association with a tropical, subtropical, or Post-tropical
cyclone.

Tropical storm watch: an announcement that sustained winds of 39 to
73 mph are possible somewhere within the specified area within 48
hours in association with a tropical, subtropical, or Post-tropical
cyclone.

Keep in mind that even tropical storm force winds of less than 74
mph are capable of tossing around debris and causing damage similar
to that seen in inland areas during hurricane fran especially in the
Raleigh area. For this reason, you should seek shelter from the wind
in a sturdy building as the hurricane moves inland and before the
onset of tropical storm force winds. Tropical storm force winds
usually strike hours ahead of the actual hurricanes eye. For this
reason many emergency officials typically have evacuations completed
and personnel sheltered before the onset of tropical storm force
winds.

Hurricane force winds can easily destroy poorly constructed
buildings and Mobile homes. Debris such as signs, roofing material,
and items left outside become flying missiles in high wind. Falling
trees cause extensive damage to power lines, towers and underground
water lines. This can cause extended disruptions of utility
services. Damaging hurricane force winds can be just as devastating
as tornadoes. The strongest winds in the hurricane usually occur in
the right side of the eye wall. Wind speed usually decreases
significantly 12 hours after landfall. Nonetheless, as seen in
hurricanes Hazel and Hugo, hurricane force winds can extend far
inland, so those living along and near the hurricane forecast path
should take the threat of flying debris and falling trees very
seriously. Hurricane Irene, a category one hurricane at the time of
landfall, resulted in widespread downed trees even as far inland as
the Raleigh-Durham Metro area.

You can protect windows by installing hurricane shutters or prepare
5/8 of an inch plywood panels. This will not only protect your
windows, but it also keeps the wind out of your house. If the wind
is able to enter a house through a window or door, it becomes much
easier for the wind to destroy a home or building. Garage doors are
also very susceptible to high wind and fail frequently in tropical
storms and hurricanes when wind gusts exceed 70 mph. Reinforcing
garage doors with affordable braces significantly increase
structural integrity.

Things you can do before a storm threatens include assessing your
homes landscaping and assess the threat from falling trees. Trim
back any dead limbs as well as large overhanging branches. Pick up
all loose objects around the house including lawn furniture, grills,
and potted plants. Lastly have a plan of where to go if high wind
threatens you. Talk with your family and let everyone know where
your predetermined safe room is in your home. Again interior
hallways, closets and bathrooms are the safest locations. Always
stay away from windows and exterior doors.

For more information about hurricane preparedness, please visit the
following web sites:
http://www.NHC.NOAA.Gov/prepare
http://www.Readync.Org



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