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Hurricane blows tress over, paper in the air, a traffic light is flipped up in the air, and the water is roughtHurricanes are severe tropical storms that form in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and in the eastern Pacific Ocean. They gather heat and energy through contact with warm ocean waters. Evaporation from the seawater increases their power. Hurricanes rotate in a counter-clockwise direction around an "eye." Hurricanes have winds of at least 74 miles per hour. When hurricanes come onto land, their heavy rain, strong winds, and large waves can damage buildings, trees, and cars.

Visit the FEMA library to download more facts about Hurricanes

Am I At Risk?

Hurricanes are most common between June and November, and most often hit states like Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Texas, South Carolina, and North Carolina. But they can affect all states along the eastern shore, all the way up to Maine.

Words to Know!


The center of the storm and the time when winds and rain die down. But it will start up again very quickly.


An area of the country that is closer to the equator

Storm Surge

Heavy waves caused by high wind and a lot of rain. These can be dangerous.


Leaving an area declared unsafe by officials. Always follow instructions to evacuate your home or neighborhood.