Terms to Know
- FLASH FLOOD WATCH – means a flash flood is possible in the area; stay alert.
- FLASH FLOOD WARNING – means a flash flood is imminent; take immediate action
- HURRICANE WATCH – issued for a coastal area when the storm is a threat of hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours.
- HURRICANE WARNING – is issued when hurricane conditions are expected in a specific coastal area in 24 hours or less. Hurricane conditions include sustained winds of 74 miles per hour (64 knots) and/or dangerous high tides and waves. Actions to protect life and property should be rushed to completion aster the warning is issued.
- HURRICANE EYE – the relatively calm area near the center of a hurricane, which takes from several minutes to an hour to pass, depending on how fast the hurricane is moving and the size of the eye. The calm ends suddenly as the winds return from the opposite direction, possibly with even greater force. The most intense winds blow closest to the eye and are the strongest Northeast of the eye.
- SMALL CRAFT ADVISORIES – when foul weather threatens a coastal area, small craft operators are advised to remain in port or not to venture into the open sea.
- STORM SURGE – a great dome of seawater, often 50 miles across, that seeps across the coastline inundating with up to 15 feet of water. The ocean level rises as a hurricane approaches; peaking where the hurricane eye strikes the land gradually subsiding after the hurricane passes.
- TROPICAL CYCLONES – are cyclone circulation originating over tropic waters, classified by form and intensity as follows:
- TROPICAL DISTURBANCE – a moving area of thunderstorms in the tropics that maintains its identity for 24 hours or more, a common phenomenon in the tropics.
- TROPICAL DEPRESSION – rotary circulation at surface, highest constant wind speed 38 miles per hour (33 knots).
- TROPICAL STORM – distinct rotary circulation, constant wind speed ranges 39-73 miles per hour (34-63 knots)
- HURRICANE – pronounced rotary circulation, constant wind speed of 74 miles per hour (64 knots) or greater.
- TORNADOS – spawned by hurricanes sometimes produce severe damage and casualties. If a tornado is reported in your area, a warning will be issued.
- The hurricane season is from June 1 thru November 30.
- Business should be aware of measures they can take to protect their facilities and employees. The primary objective should be to ensure that the business can continue to function after a hurricane has threatened the area. Without a complete plan to protect the business, a quick recovery from a hurricane will be difficult.
- All business-hurricane plans should include employee’s responsibilities at work and home, an emergency management team, communication lines and insurance coverage.
- Since planning for a hurricane is a year-round task, the plan should be updated annually. The hurricane update plan should include: employee updates, implementation of plan and insurance policy updates.
- Identify and protect vital records and electronic equipment. Back up all key files.
- Employees should be informed when they’ll be released from work and when they should return. Give employees enough time to secure their homes and families.
- Develop a 24-hour Emergency Contact List with phone numbers of key employees.
- Since many employees will need money immediately after the storm, consider paying them before they leave to prepare their homes.
- Review the company’s insurance policy and make sure it provides adequate coverage.
- Establish a temporary location for business operations in case your facility is damaged.