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Times Newspaper in Education





It's not just the wind ...

     Tropical storms and hurricanes are a part of life in the Sunshine State. Ever since records have been kept, there have been plenty of stories about destructive winds originating in the tropics and sweeping across our state.

     Why is Florida in the path of so many hurricanes? It’s because of our unique geographical location. Florida lies in the subtropical zone, which extends roughly the length of the peninsula. As a result, storms developing in the tropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean or Caribbean Sea often are steered toward the state by the Bermuda or Subtropical High, a large area of high pressure that sits over the Atlantic during the summer months. We also are surrounded by very warm waters, which breed and support hurricanes: the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Gulf of Mexico to the west and the Caribbean Sea well to the south.

     Your main protection against hurricanes is to be prepared and have a plan. A hurricane plan doesn’t have to be anything extremely complicated, but should at least consist of the following two things. First, determine whether you live in an evacuation zone. This information can be obtained from your local emergency management office. If you live in an evacuation zone, know when and where you will be going to pass the storm. Have a list of emergency telephone numbers handy. Second, stock up on non-perishable supplies, batteries for electronic devices such as your NOAA Alert Radio, and have a disaster supply kit ready.

     Do you have a hurricane supply kit? What will you do if you lose electricity or you are trapped in your home because of flooding? Share your evacuation plan here, and tell other Tampa Bay area students what you have in your disaster supply kit.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 12:17pm]


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