Effects of Hurricanes


Hurricanes are extreme weather conditions that result to violent winds that cause extensive damage in places they occur. Hurricanes destructive nature depends with its magnitude some can cause damage in a small area of land while others can be very destructive and extensive an example being hurricane Katrina.

Over the past several decades’ economic damage from severe weather has increased value of the infrastructure at risk. Annual costs on disaster management and rescue plans has gotten to hundreds of billions not mentioning the costs incurred to replace damaged property and not a single mention of lost lives.

Although considerable measures may be put forward to help guard against the harsh effects of extreme weather such as the cases with hurricane people and property have not been protected fully and remain highly susceptible to impact of weather variability and extreme weather events. Especially vulnerable groups, include indigenous people and those who are socially or economically disadvantaged. Traditional institutions have encouraged a decentralized response framework where adaptation tends to be reactive, unevenly distributed, and focused on coping with rather than preventing problems.(Hoyos 2006).

There are several components of the hurricanes which cause varied damages these aspects and effects are as discussed:

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Effects of Hurricanes


Winds associated with hurricanes are very strong and have great speeds that accompany them this makes them very destructive in terms of coverage and magnitude. The highly charged winds uproot trees in the fields and sweep away any vegetation that may appear within its path. Other effects of these winds are that they often demolish buildings and other structures that may be erected on the surface of the earth.

Another effect of the wind is sweeping and blowing away cars that maybe parked on the ground, most of these are banged against each other too an extent nothing is recovered with these losses being absorbed by the owners.

A normal wind is that that averages a full speed of about 40 miles per hour but anything that exceeds a speed of 74 miles per hour qualifies to be a hurricane. Hurricanes have winds reported to blow at an abnormally 200 miles per hour. Such winds are the ones that may have such devastating effects as highlighted above.


Another major component of a hurricane are the storms commonly known as the storm surges, these surges are normally rising of the sea level as a result of low pressure strong winds and very high waves. These are causatives of strong floods which affect areas close to the shores these storms are very violent when on shore and incase trapped by one it is a sure death.

These occur as strong winds that blow towards the land surface and are the cause for most of the onshore flooding. (Webster et al 2005).

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Effects of Hurricanes

These storms have different height measure though they will always measure something between three to twenty five feet. Another varying fact or for these storms are the coverage when they blow onshore. This mostly will be determined by the general landscape of the area around the ocean. In case of very flat areas these storms will travel as deep as a mile from the water bodies this causes extensive and destructive flooding over the affected area.

This flooding destroys property over the areas it extends this destruction will mostly be sweeping of property drowning of both human and animals as well as interruption in communication and energy facilities.


This is a very violent storm that has been associated with the hurricanes it moves in circles and is mainly air that is in contact with the cumulonimbus cloud and the surface of the earth, it forms in the walls of the hurricane as that is where the conditions are mostly favorable for their formation. They have an average speed that matches that of the hurricane thus making them almost equally destructive as the main hurricane. It is however very difficult to track tornadoes as they occur in areas of heavy rain.

The effects of these include

Blowing off buildings and structures along their paths, though they may not measure up with the magnitude of the main hurricane they also cause somewhat vast structural damage.

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Effects of Hurricanes

-They cause flooding in the particular areas they affect; this is mainly so as they occur in areas of torrent downpour, this cause’s vast infrastructural damage rendering communication impossible. Once communication is hampered delivery of aid is also affected which far reaching effects on people has affected by the hurricanes. (Mooney 2008).

Effects caused by hurricanes mainly spiral such as was the case with the hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

Spiraling effects in this case means that individuals first may suffer property and infrastructural loss which is mainly the first felt impact of the hurricanes after sometime this translates to other effects such as lack of adequate sanitary facilities and dietary issues this may have adverse effects in the long run.

Some of the effects include:-

-Nutrition needs as most of these individuals loose their food stocks when hit by sudden hurricanes which hardly allow them time carry some of these stocks. In addition the government agencies may not be able to supply the required food to meet the entire affected population.

-Sanitary needs the people may sometimes be evacuated to other areas which are safer these form concentrated areas where provision of sanitary equipments is not possible or the available facilities are greatly stressed due to their limited numbers compared to the high number of users dependent on the facilities.

Though most of the effects referred to in this paper have an economic bearing hurricanes have also some social problems which are not mostly discussed as they are considered trivial as

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Effects of Hurricanes

compared to the great economic losses. Among these few social effects are:-

-There often occurs social problems in the evacuation grounds as different people of diverse backgrounds come to live together, this is especially so as these diverse group of individuals seek to exercise their different ways of live s which obviously have an effect on the lives of others who m ay differ .

-The other social issues may result from the interactions of the individuals resulting to improved relationships as people have no much activities thus concentrate more on each other this may result to better families as families spend much time together or result to new relationships as people come to know each other.

These effects may not be as widely acknowledged as people focus more on the shock but the truth is they amongst these affected people. (Emmanuel 2005).


Hurricanes have far reaching and devastating effects and being a natural consequence the only way to tame the effects is to improve disaster preparedness to ensure that the impact is minimized.

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Effects of Hurricanes


Cole J (2007). The Magic School Bus inside a Hurricane, Nation books, New York.

Emanuel, Kerry. (2005). Increasing Destructiveness of Tropical Cyclones Over the Past 30 Years’ Nature.

Hoyos, CD. P.A. Agudelo, P.J. Webster, J.A. Curry. (2006). Deconvolution of the Factors Contributing to the Increase in Global Hurricane Intensity. Science

Kilpatrick, John A. and Sofia Dermis. (2007).The Aftermath of Katrina: Recommendations for Real Estate Research. Journal of Real Estate Literature. Spring

Mooney C (2008).Storm world: Hurricanes, politics, and the battle over Global warming.

McGraw Hill Publisher.

Retrieved September 7, 2009 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/2005/katrina .html

Netting, Ruth. (2003). How are Hurricanes Named? Retrieved September 9, 2009 from http://ki ds.earth.nasa.gov/archive/hurricane/names.html

Reed, B (2006).Unnatural Disaster: The Nation on Hurricane Katrina, Nation books, New York.

. Retrieved September 10, 2009 from http://www.hhs.gov/disasters/emergency/naturaldisasters /hurricanes/katrina/index.html

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Effects of Hurricanes

Webster, PJ. G.J. Holland, J.A. Curry, and H.R. Chang, (2005). Changes in Tropical Cyclone Number, Duration, and Intensity in a Warming Environment. Science.