A disaster cannot be planned, but you can prepare!
Official names for hurricane season of 2023
A tropical cyclone is a rotating, organized system of clouds and thunderstorms, with a closed low level circulation that develops over tropical or subtropical waters. In the northern hemisphere these storms have a wind pattern that rotates counterclockwise at sea level and a rotation that is clockwise in the higher levels of the atmosphere.
The Atlantic tropical cyclone season runs from June 1st up to November 30th. Tropical cyclones have different names, depending on the location of their formation. In the Atlantic and the Caribbean region they are called Hurricanes, whereas the Western Pacific speaks of Typhoons.
Tropical cyclones are classified according to their maximum sustained winds in 3 categories, namely:
Tropical Depression – sustained winds less than 62 km/h.
Tropical Storm – sustained winds between 63 and 118 km/h.
Hurricanes – sustained winds of more than 119 km/h.
How do tropical cyclones form?
There are several favorable environmental conditions that must be in place before a tropical cyclone can form. They are:
- Warm ocean waters (at least 27 °C) throughout a certain depth;
- An unstable atmosphere;
- Relatively moist air;
- Relatively weak winds in the upper levels of the atmosphere, and A pre-existing near-surface
disturbance, like for example a tropical wave.
Storm Surge & Breaking Swells — Storm surge is water that is pushed toward the shore by the forces of the winds swirling around the storm. Furthermore, swells breaking near shore in shallow waters can cause hazardous seas.
Winds, Gusts and Squalls — Hurricanes are known for their damaging sustained winds, but can also produce short, rapid bursts in wind speeds. i.e. gusts and also longer periods of increased wind speed (squalls) associated with the spiral bands around the hurricane.
Heavy Rainfall — Tropical cyclones can also cause torrential rains, which can lead to flash flooding. Slow moving tropical storms can cause more damage due to flooding than a more powerful fast moving hurricane.
Before bad weather:
- Make sure you have a response plan for your family.
- Talk to each household member about how the household’s emergency plan works.
- Explain to children in a simple way what can happen.
- Store preservable food and drinking water (supply for 5 days).
- Trim trees so branches don’t fly into your home and tidy your garden so that loose objects will not be turned into projectiles.
- Buy plywood or other material to protect your home.
- Be aware of the location of your home and whether you are living in an area prone to flooding.
- Make sure you have an emergency kit, with all the necessary tools.
- Check emergency equipment and battery-powered equipment, such as flashlights, radios and cell phones.
- Make sure your cell phone is always charged.
- Make sure you have spare batteries.
- Review your insurance policy.
- Keep following the weather bulletins issued by MDC on the radio, television or www.kalamidat.cw.
During bad weather
- During the event, frequently listen to the radio and follow the bulletins issued by MDC or www.kalamidat.cw.
- Don’t leave your home or go to the beach if it has been advised not to.
- If for some reason you still have to leave the house, carry enough food, water, blankets, clothes and your cell phone.
- If you come upon a flooded road, turn around. Don’t venture through the flooded area since you may drown.
- Try to repair any damage yourself before calling the rescue team. In this way, you will prevent the emergency lines for being occupied constantly, which can jeopardize the people who need help the most.