Storms are rated by the intensity and strength of their winds.
The first stage, which is the least intense, is called a tropical
depression, with wind speeds getting up to 38 m.p.h. The next
level is a tropical storm with wind speeds of 39 to 73 m.p.h.
Then there are five levels of hurricane:
Category 1 carries wind speeds of 74 to 95 m.p.h.
Category 2 carries wind speeds of 96 to 110 m.p.h.
Category 3 carries wind speeds of 111 to 130 m.p.h.
Category 4 carries wind speeds of 131 to 155 m.p.h.
Category 5 carries wind speeds in excess of 156 m.p.h.
Iniki, the hurricane that hit Kauai in 1992, had maximum wind
speeds clocked at 241 m.p.h.
According to the Oahu Civil Defense Agency, those who
should evacuate are residents who live in Tsunami Evacuation
Zones (there are maps on the Web and in the telephone directory),
residents who live on ridges and low-lying areas that are subject
to flooding, and residents whose houses are lightly constructed
or built of wood frame. Residents of multi-story buildings of
heavy concrete and steel at least 300 feet inland from the shoreline
should go to the third floor or higher.
OCDA says that listening to the radio broadcasts will give
residents the proper time to evacuate to these shelters, ideally
before the arrival of sustained 40 m.p.h. winds. Trying to evacuate
after this may be more dangerous than staying where you are.
OCDA recommends evacuating to the houses of a family or friends
who arent in high risk areas or to an identified community
shelter. Community shelters will be frequently announced on
Community shelters will not allow pets. Drop pets and the necessary
supplies off with a family or friend.
The first warning, called a storm watch, occurs 36 hours before
a hurricane is expected to hit. The next warning, called a hurricane
warning, occurs at 24 hours in advance. This is the best time
to start the evacuation process.The actual hurricane season
lasts from July 1 to November 30, but nature doesnt always
respect our deadlines and its never too early to be prepared.
For more information, visit these Web sites: