A hurricane is defined as a violent tropical cyclone with a pronounced rotary circulation. Winds are at least 74 mph (64 knots) spiraling counter-clockwise around a calm center known as an "eye." Hurricanes are classified by form and intensity.
These storms are the most common disaster threat for Florida, with an annual posted hurricane season (June 1 through Nov. 30). They can cause coastal and inland hazards. Coastal hazards can include high tides and flash floods caused by storm surges. Continuous rainfall and run-off from high ground areas causing flooding in low-lying areas are examples of inland hazards. In addition, inland areas on high ground normally experience damage from winds and wind-blown debris. Hurricanes can spawn tornadoes, adding to the potential for devastation. These hazards may disrupt transportation systems, gas, fresh water supplies and electricity.
The actions you take to prepare yourself and your home from hurricanes will serve you well in dealing with the other types of emergencies referenced in this guide. Securing the windows and doors of your home, bracing the roof and garage doors, having a disaster supply kit, using the safe-room concept, planning for your health and welfare, and providing for the security of valuables and important documents will ensure an easier recovery for you and your family.
All bridges will be locked down when winds reach a sustained speed of 39 miles per hour or a land evacuation is ordered. Before a complete lockdown, drawbridges will be raised on the hour for 15 minutes when boat traffic is present.