Landlocked Does Not Mean Hurricane-Safe

When residents of Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin heard that Hurricane Sandy was about to strike the East Coast in 2012, they may have said a prayer for the folks in the storm's path.

They may have sent out good thoughts and hoped the damage would be limited and lives would be spared.

They may have watched the Weather Channel and other newscasts reporting on the immediate destruction and the long-term power outages that followed.

What they probably never even considered was that where they were ‚Äď nearly 1,000 miles away from Sandy's landfall ‚Äď they would also be affected by the storm. But they were.¬†

Sandy affected 24 states 

In fact, Hurricane Sandy ended up negatively affecting the weather and causing problems in exactly one-half of the 48 lower states. It also caused an estimated $65 billion in damage.

Of course, those states include the entire eastern seaboard from Maine to Florida, then across the Appalachian Mountains and as far west as the Midwest.

The most severe damage occurred in New York and New Jersey, with a storm surge that flooded streets, tunnels, and subway systems, and knocked out electrical power to millions. 

But it also caused flooding in Midwestern states, with city officials in at least one Wisconsin city calling for a voluntary evacuation of its Lake Michigan lakefront area.

Don't ignore hurricane warnings

What's my point here? My point is that even if you don't live near an ocean, you could suffer a power outage due to a hurricane or other severe storm. 

Hurricane season runs from June through November, and climate researchers at North Carolina State University are already predicting more than a dozen storms. 

Six to eight of those storms may become hurricanes, while two to three could become major hurricanes, meaning Category 3 or higher. 

My suggestion is to not ignore news reports about hurricanes, because that could come back to bite you. Instead, prepare for power outages and make sure you have an emergency weather radio to warn you in advance. More on that in a moment. 

Categories refer to wind speeds

Today I'd like to familiarize you with terms that are used by weather experts when referring to hurricanes. 

There are many of them, so I'll only mention some. But this way you'll know what they're talking about when you hear these terms mentioned. 

Let's start off with hurricane categories. They can't tell you exactly what the results of the storm will be in your area, but they can give you an indication of what you might expect. 

Hurricanes are measured on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, ranging from Category 1 to Category 5. The scale was developed by engineer Herbert Saffir and meteorologist Robert Simpson. 

These categories only factor in the wind speeds of a hurricane. The amount of water the storm produces and the speed at which the storm travels are separate factors. 

In other words, categories won't tell you how much destruction and flooding will occur, but they will give you a pretty good idea of both. 

From dangerous to catastrophic

A Category 1 hurricane has wind speeds of 74 to 95 miles per hour. Structures may sustain some damage and flying debris could strike people, but protected glass windows should make it through without major damage.

With a Category 2 hurricane, wind speeds are between 96 and 110 mph. Older mobile homes will likely be destroyed, while frame homes, apartment buildings, and shopping centers could experience major roof and siding damage. Power outages will occur. 

Featuring wind speeds of 111 to 129 mph, a Category 3 hurricane represents a serious risk of injury and death. Mobile homes will probably be destroyed and major damage is likely to houses, apartment buildings, and other structures. Electricity may be unavailable for several days to a few weeks.

Catastrophic damage will occur with a Category 4 hurricane, due to winds of 130 to 156 mph. Collapsing structures and flying debris are likely to result in serious injuries and death. Even well-built homes and other buildings will see severe damage to roofs and upper floors. 

A high percentage of frame homes and commercial buildings will be seriously damaged or destroyed in a Category 5 hurricane, featuring wind speeds of 157 and higher. High rise windows will be blown out, trees will be uprooted, and power will be lost for weeks to months. Long-term water shortages will also occur.   

Coming to terms with hurricanes

Now for some hurricane-specific terms:

A hurricane watch is a 48-hour warning letting you know that a hurricane is possible in your area. 

A hurricane warning is a 36-hour notice that the hurricane is expected in your area.

The eye of a hurricane is the roughly circular center where winds are minimal. But if you're in the eye of a hurricane, you'll soon be hit with the devastating winds of the eyewall. 

The hurricane eyewall is the ring of clouds and moisture surrounding the eye of the storm. This is where the wind speeds are strongest. 

Storm surge is an abnormal rise in the sea level during a hurricane or other storm. When that surge is moving inland, it can cause life-threatening conditions.

Inundation is the flooding of what is normally dry land. Combined with the high winds of a storm, strong waves can result.

A direct hit occurs when the storm passes to within a distance equal to its radius of maximum wind.

An indirect hit occurs when an area experiences hurricane force winds (either sustained or gusts), but the eye remains off-shore.

Rapid intensification occurs when there is an increase in maximum sustained winds of at least 34.5 mph in a 24-hour period. 

Your own personal warning system

No matter where you live, you need an emergency weather radio to give you advance notice of dangerous weather. And 4Patriots just happens to have one available. With this radio, you'll be the first to know what's coming. 

Our Liberty Band Emergency Solar Radio features National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration alerts, with seven 24/7 weather channels and AM/FM and shortwave radio.

It includes an LCD display clock with alarm and an ultra-bright flashlight. We made it lightweight with the ability to recharge with the free power of the sun.

We added a hand crank for emergency starting. We even made sure that it could power up other devices when you need them most. Including your cellphone.

I feel like we've made the 4Patriots Liberty Band Emergency Solar Radio as desirable as we possibly can. But if you need any extra incentive, how's this? 

If you purchase three of them, I'll provide you with free shipping, and toss in a few bonuses. Including a free Patriot Power Cell, a free 72-Hour Survival Food Kit, a free HaloXT Tactical Flashlight and a $25 gift certificate.

Here's how to get yours...

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