10 Important Tips to Keep You Safe When RVing in Hurricane Territory

Recently we had a guest move their RV into Hidden Valley primarily to have a place to escape possible hurricane occurrences in their home town of Corpus Christi.  They have a home there but wanted a place to go if warnings or evacuations were to take place.  At first I thought it unusual but many experts I've read about are predicting that 2010 may be a very active season due to the waning El Nino weather pattern and warmer waters in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.  Here in San Antonio hurricanes cause an increase in rain but generally little more.  However, a couple hundred miles south toward the coast the story is much different.  During times when hurricanes are imminent, many Texans on the gulf coast take refuge in San Antonio and nearby towns. 

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These ten tips about hurricanes are ones I found in a Canadian journal and have some educational facts that could save a lot of problems for travelers to the US southeast, Atlantic coastal or Gulf of Mexico states.

1.  Hurricanes are big, really, really big.  The average hurricane is 200 to 400 miles across.  Big ones can be 550 plus miles.

2.  It takes days and sometimes weeks to them to build from tropical depressions, to tropical storms and then into hurricanes.  There is plenty of warning before a hurricane makes landfall.

3.  Hurricanes don't travel very fast.  The average 10-20 miles/hour, though on rare occasions they came move along as fast as 70 mph or creep along at 2 or 3 mph.

4.  Hurricanes don't travel in straight lines rather in curving paths often looping, backtracking and zigzagging.
image from news/2008/09/photogalleries/Hurricane-Ike-photos/photo2.html
5.  Hurricanes can have tremendous amounts of rain or very little.

6.  The center of the storm is called the eye.  It can be from 5 to 120 miles across with most being 20-40.  As you may know, the eye can be strangely calm with clear skies, fooling people into thinking the storm is over.  Once that center passes over there is the other half of the storm still left, with ferocious winds coming from the opposite direction. 

7.  The worst winds tend to be in the northeast quadrant of the storm. 

8.  The sustained winds of a hurricane (74 to 190 mph)  are bad and cause a lot of damage.  However hurricanes tend to spawn many tornadoes which cause much of the damage.

9.  Flying debris can be a bigger hazard than the wind itself.

10.  Hurricanes are tropical but are not restricted to tropical areas, the coast or the summer.  Some of the worst and most damaging ones have hit in the Carolinas and northward in September.  August and September are the most hurricane prone months. 

Watch for the next post about what to do if a hurricane IS headed your way. 
And remember that each region of the states, and other countries as well, has their own breed of dangers caused by weather, the shifting of the earths crust, the spouting of volcanic dust and fire or the sliding of mountains on the coastline into the oceans.  These natural phenomena can all cause great damage but our knowledge of how they form and act can make travel to all states and countries safer.  Happy Camping!

Quote for the Day:  "We make a living by what we get.  But we make a life by what we give."       Winston Churchill
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