There is not a cloud in the blue sky today. But don’t be fooled, the hurricane season starts now in June and ends in November. Under normal circumstances, the weather can change suddenly and there can always be scattered rain throughout the city. However, with hurricane, there is one advantage, it is predictable.
A hurricane is the popular name of a tropical cyclone, a rapidly rotating storm system that is characterized by a low-pressure center, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain.
The velocity and strength of the winds determine its category and its destruction power. Sometimes a hurricane can start with a very strong wind and then lose its momentum, and sometimes it might start just as a tropical rain, but combined with the atmosphere, temperature, and saturation, it can gather enough strength and energy to become very powerful. The categories define the intensity and destruction that they can cause in its path, from moderate to catastrophic.
Each year, the National Hurricane Center in the USA creates a list of names for the storms that form in the Atlantic Ocean, so they can monitor each one’s path separately, helping communities prepare for the storm.
It’s been a few years since Miami had a hurricane. However, in years past, some of them were so devastating that in consequence of these hurricanes, some new laws in construction, insurance, and retail law had to be implemented for the safety of the residents.
When the season starts, preparation is essential. Each household should have enough dry food and supplies for at least a few days, including canned foods, candles, bottled water, batteries, and medicine. This is because after a storm, it is possible that there might not be electricity for many days. Most homes have electric and not gas stove, so cooking becomes complicated, and supermarkets can’t process credit or debit cards.
Some people try to leave the city, to get to another region that is not affected by the storm, and the gas stations might have long lines too.
Today, building codes must follow strict laws to withstand strong winds. The houses in Florida, for example, have their front doors opening to the outside, as opposed to the inside, like any other house in the country. When there is a strong wind, the door closes, avoiding wind to come inside and lifting the roof.
Another important rule is that new windows should be impact resistant.
When the National Hurricane Center sends notification that there is a hurricane forming and the city is in it’s path, it places the city on alert. All workers and students are sent home to start preparing, and only essential personnel are allowed to continue with their planned activities.
This way, everyone goes home, to do their last minute shopping, withdraw some cash, and cover their older windows. Then everyone just waits for the storm to pass, and that can take from a few hours to a couple of days.
After the storm, all neighbors go outside to evaluate the damage and exchange stories. Among tragedies and jokes, new friendships are forged, and there are always new miracle stories that can be told over a barbecue until life and electricity are restored to normal
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