John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.
Hurricane damage accounts for on average of $5.1 billion in damages per year.
From 2000 to 2010 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recorded
1,153 deaths due to hurricanes, with the majority occurring in 2005 due to
Hurricane Katrina, a Category 4 storm that hit the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and
This article provides tips to prepare for an encroaching hurricane (including
how to prepare a hurricane kit) before it hits, and what action to take once the
hurricane or major storm has passed.
A hurricane is an intense low-pressure weather system with winds of 74 or
more miles per hour. It is a type of cyclone that generally forms in the
tropics. These storms are defined by high wind speeds, with accompanying rain,
possible storm surges, flooding and tornadoes.
Hurricanes are categorized according to wind speeds based on the
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. The weakest hurricanes
are Category 1, defined by wind speeds starting at 74 miles per hour and storm
surges of 4 to 6 feet. The scale ranges to a Category 5 where wind speeds are in
excess of 155 miles per hour, and storm surges can reach 18 feet or more.
All hurricanes are dangerous. Even the lowest category hurricanes can produce
flying debris, standing water hazards, and
How are hurricanes named and tracked?
When wind speeds reach 39 miles per hour (tropical storm wind speed), these
weather systems are named. Naming helps facilitate warning and tracking services
communicate storm information to the public, and reduces confusion when there is
more than one storm occurring at the same time. If the named tropical storm
reaches 74 or more miles per hour, the tropical storm becomes the same-named
In 1953, the National Hurricane Center originated a naming list, which is now
maintained by an international committee of the World Meteorological
Organization. The lists are alphabetical, alternating between men's and women's
names. The lists rotate every 6 years. If a hurricane results in significant
damage or death, the name is usually retired and not used again. A complete list
of hurricane names is available at the
National Weather Service
National Hurricane Center.
Hurricanes are tracked by the National Hurricane Center. There are many
factors that go into tracking a hurricane, including atmospheric conditions,
water temperatures, and even historical information. Computer models use this
data to predict what track a storm will take. Tracking has become more precise
over the years and usually predictions are relatively accurate 24
hours prior to the storm. Many computer-generated models attempt to predict a hurricane's path
up to five days prior. However, beyond a day or two, these predictions become less
accurate. Individuals living in an area that may be impacted by a hurricane
should heed all local warnings.
Reviewed by Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD on 8/24/2012
Medical Author: Benjamin C. Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Most of us have our favorite places to eat and hang out. There is the
neighborhood coffee shop where we stop for our morning cup. However, that isn't
the place we would choose for a Sunday morning brunch or the special anniversary
night out. Each place serves our special wants and needs. Hospitals are no
different, but do you know what hospital to choose in an emergency or natural
diaster like a tornado, hurricane, or earthquake, and does it
Medicine has changed in the past generation. Not so long ago, medical
practice was good at diagnosing conditions and diseases, but had little to offer
the patient in the way of treatment to intervene in life-threatening events.
Thirty years ago, the heart attack victim was admitted to the hospital for weeks
as the damaged heart muscle was replaced with scar tissue and the patient
adapted to a new life with a weakened heart. People had
strokes, and there were
no intervention options available. Survival rates from trauma were better in
Vietnam than on American highways.