Hurricane Season begins June 1 and runs through Nov. 30. In 2014, four major hurricanes struck the state of Florida. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast region. The lesson to learn is not "if" a hurricane will strike, but "when." Having a plan and preparing for a hurricane are the keys to survival before, during, and after the storm.
By clicking on one the links to the left, you can find information that will enable you to develop your own hurricane plan. The time to plan is before a hurricane strikes.
This hurricane season . . . be prepared . . . stay safe!
Family Preparedness Guide
One of the most important things you as the military member and civilian employee can do is ensure your chain of command knows that in an evacuation, you have reached "safe haven" and are okay. It is an "all hands" responsibility to ensure everyone musters, including accounting for family members. This allows your command to better take care of you and your family in an emergency.
The following are the muster procedures to follow.
For Navy Region Southeast military and civilian employees:
Muster with your supervisor
Supervisors muster with Department Head
Department Head musters with the Program Director
Front office personnel will muster thru the EA -PD, provides muster info to mustering cell at 904 542-2234/6233/2234 or 1-866-203-6004. The Muster cell will complete the BOL input and assist in contacting individuals if necessary.
All personnel should update their recall information in TWMS and their Department Admin.
CNRSE Emergency POC cards are available in Admin.
If there is an actual emergency/disaster/evacuation and you cannot contact your chain of command, follow the below procedures:
Call the CNRSE 1-866-203-6004 to muster within 24-48 hours of reaching the safe haven
If you cannot get through to this number within 48 hours, call the ROC at 904 542-3118 where they can pass muster info to the muster cell
If you cannot contact the ROC, call BUPERS at 1-877-414-5358
The BUPERS number is only to be used when all other options fail and you have not mustered within 72 hours.
Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is a 1-5 rating based on the hurricane's present intensity. This is used to give an estimate of the potential property damage and flooding expected along the coast from a hurricane landfall. Wind speed is the determining factor in the scale, as storm surge values are highly dependent on the slope of the continental shelf and the shape of the coastline, in the landfall region. Note that all winds are using the U.S. 1-minute average.
Category One Hurricane:
Winds 74-95 mph (64-82 kt or 119-153 km/hr). Storm surge generally 4-5 ft above normal. No real damage to building structures. Damage primarily to unanchored mobile homes, shrubbery, and trees. Some damage to poorly constructed signs. Also, some coastal road flooding and minor pier damage.
Category Two Hurricane:
Winds 96-110 mph (83-95 kt or 154-177 km/hr). Storm surge generally 6-8 feet above normal. Some roofing material, door, and window damage of buildings. Considerable damage to shrubbery and trees with some trees blown down. Considerable damage to mobile homes, poorly constructed signs, and piers. Coastal and low-lying escape routes flood 2-4 hours before arrival of the hurricane center. Small craft in unprotected anchorages break moorings.
Category Three Hurricane:
Winds 111-130 mph (96-113 kt or 178-209 km/hr). Storm surge generally 9-12 ft above normal. Some structural damage to small residences and utility buildings with a minor amount of curtainwall failures. Damage to shrubbery and trees with foliage blown off trees and large trees blown down. Mobile homes and poorly constructed signs are destroyed. Low-lying escape routes are cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the center of the hurricane. Flooding near the coast destroys smaller structures with larger structures damaged by battering from floating debris. Terrain continuously lower than 5 ft above mean sea level may be flooded inland 8 miles (13 km) or more. Evacuation of low-lying residences with several blocks of the shoreline may be required.
Category Four Hurricane:
Winds 131-155 mph (114-135 kt or 210-249 km/hr). Storm surge generally 13-18 ft above normal. More extensive curtainwall failures with some complete roof structure failures on small residences. Shrubs, trees, and all signs are blown down. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Extensive damage to doors and windows. Low-lying escape routes may be cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the center of the hurricane. Major damage to lower floors of structures near the shore. Terrain lower than 10 ft above sea level may be flooded requiring massive evacuation of residential areas as far inland as 6 miles (10 km).
Category Five Hurricane:
Winds greater than 155 mph (135 kt or 249 km/hr). Storm surge generally greater than 18 ft above normal. Complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings. Some complete building failures with small utility buildings blown over or away. All shrubs, trees, and signs blown down. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Severe and extensive window and door damage. Low-lying escape routes are cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the center of the hurricane. Major damage to lower floors of all structures located less than 15 ft above sea level and within 500 yards of the shoreline. Massive evacuation of residential areas on low ground within 5-10 miles (8-16 km) of the shoreline may be required.
What is a Thunderstorm?
A thunderstorm is formed from a combination of moisture, rapidly rising warm air and a force capable of lifting air such as a warm and cold front, a sea breeze or a mountain. All thunderstorms contain lightning. Thunderstorms may occur singly, in clusters or in lines. Thus, it is possible for several thunderstorms to affect one location in the course of a few hours. Some of the most severe weather occurs when a single thunderstorm affects one location for an extended time.
Some thunderstorms can be seen approaching, while others hit without warning. It is important to learn and recognize the danger signs and to plan ahead. Learn the thunderstorm danger signs. Dark, towering, or threatening clouds. Distant lightning and thunder. Because light travels much faster than sound, lightning flashes can be seen long before the resulting thunder is heard. Estimate the number of miles you are from a thunderstorm by counting the number of seconds between a flash of lightning and the next clap of thunder. Divide this number by five. You are in danger from lightning if you can hear thunder. Knowing how far away a storm is does not mean that you are in danger only when the storm is overhead.
A severe thunderstorm watch is issued when the weather conditions are such that a severe thunderstorm (damaging winds 58 miles per hour or more, or hail three-fourths of an inch in diameter or greater) is likely to develop. This is the time to locate a safe place in the home and tell family members to watch the sky and listen to the radio or television for more information and wait for the "all clear" by the authorities.
Tornadoes are spawned by thunderstorms and flash flooding can occur with thunderstorms. When a "severe thunderstorm warning" is issued, review
what actions to take under a "tornado warning" or a "flash flood warning." Develop an emergency communication plan in case family members are separated from one another during a thunderstorm. Please be aware of hail. Hail is produced by many strong thunderstorms. Hail can be smaller than a pea or as large as a softball and can be very destructive to plants and crops. In a hailstorm, take cover immediately. Pets and livestock are particularly vulnerable to hail, so bring animals into a shelter.
What is Lightning?
Lightning is an electrical discharge that results from the buildup of positive and negative charges within a thunderstorm. When the buildup becomes strong enough, lightning appears as a "bolt." This flash of light usually occurs within the clouds or between the clouds and the ground. A bolt of lightning reaches a temperature approaching 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit in a split second. The rapid heating and cooling of air near the lightning causes thunder. Thunderstorms can bring heavy rains (which can cause flash flooding), strong winds, hail, lightning and tornadoes. In a severe thunderstorm get inside a sturdy building and stay tuned to a battery-operated radio for weather information. Lightning is a major
threat during a thunderstorm.
Precautions to Be Taken During Thunderstorms and Lightning
Have disaster supplies on hand. Consult the Disaster Supplies Kit page. Other precautions:
- Check for hazards in the yard. Dead or rotting trees and branches can fall during a severe thunderstorm and cause injury and damage.
- Make sure that all family members know how to respond after a thunderstorm.
- Teach family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity and water.
- Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1, police, fire department, and which radio station to tune for emergency information.
What to Do During a Thunderstorm
If caught indoors:
- Secure outdoor objects such as lawn furniture that could blow away or cause damage or injury. Take light objects inside. Shutter windows securely and brace outside doors.
- Listen to a battery operated radio or television for the latest storm information.
- Do not handle any electrical equipment or telephones because lightning could follow the wire. Television sets are particularly dangerous at this time.
- Avoid bathtubs, water faucets, and sinks because metal pipes can transmit electricity.
If caught outdoors: Attempt to get into a building or car. If no structure is available, get to an open space an squat low to the ground as quickly as possible.
If in the woods:
- Find an area protected by low clump of trees - never stand underneath a single large
tree in the open.
- It is a myth that lightning never strikes twice in the same place. In fact, lightning will strike several times in the same place in the course of one discharge.
- Be aware of the potential for flooding in low-lying areas.
- Crouch with hands on knees.
- Avoid tall structures such as towers, tall trees, fences, telephone lines, or power lines
- Stay away from natural lightning rods such as golf clubs, tractors, fishing rods, bicycles, or camping equipment
- Stay away from rivers, lakes, or other bodies of water. If you are isolated in a level field or prairie and you feel your hair stand on end (which indicates that lightning is about to strike), bend forward, putting your hands on your knees. A position with feet together and crouching while removing all metal objects is recommended. Do not lie flat on the ground.
If caught in a car:
- Pull safely onto the shoulder of the road away from any trees that could fall on the vehicle. Stay in the car and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rains subside. Avoid flooded roadways.
- Drive only if necessary. Debris and washed-out roads may make driving dangerous.
What to Do When Lightning Strikes a Person
Check for injuries. A person who has been struck by lightning does not carry an electrical charge that can shock other people. If the victim is burned, provide first aid and call emergency medical assistance immediately. Look for burns where lightning entered and exited the body. If the strike cause the victim's heart and breathing to stop, give cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until medical professionals arrive and take over.
Remember to help your neighbors who may require special assistance--infants, elderly people, and people with disabilities. Report downed utility wires.