Hurricane season is just around the corner and will last from June to November.
ABC News reports that over 1.8 million homes on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are at the greatest risk of receiving damage caused by hurricanes. The amount of homes in this at-risk zone is three times greater than those in flood zones defined by the federal government, according to CoreLogic. This means that two-thirds, or 66%, of the homes that are most likely to receive storm damage from a hurricane are outside of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood zones. The ABC News report states that the homes with the most risk of experiencing hurricane damage include those in New Orleans, La.; Tampa, Fla.; Virginia Beach, Va.; Long Island, NY and Miami, Fla.
In addition to damaging high wind speeds and rain, hurricanes can cause storm surges and extensive water damage. Storm surges are when sea or ocean water breaks through structures designed to prevent flooding. Surges can cause massive flooding and can carry harmful debris. However, the states most vulnerable to a direct hit from a hurricane, according to ABC News, are Texas and Florida.
In the last ten years, eight Category 5 hurricanes (the strongest kind) in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea made landfall in North and Latin America. Colorado State University researchers predict there is a 72 percent chance that U.S. will experience the devastation of at least one major hurricane during the 2011 hurricane season.
[photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center]