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The Potential Threats of Hurricanes

Hurricanes are large, powerful, rotating storms that form over warm ocean waters. They are characterized by strong winds that circulate a central region of low pressure called the eye (Basolo et al. 257). The eye is usually calm and clear with light winds. It is surrounded by the eyewall, a ring of intense thunderstorms where the strongest winds and heaviest rainfall occur. As the hurricane intensifies, it undergoes various stages. The first stage is called the tropical depression, characterized by a closed circulation and strong sustained winds of up to 39 mph. The second stage is called the tropical storm, which occurs when the wind speed goes between 39 mph to 73 mph. The last stage is called a hurricane, which occurs when the wind reaches or exceeds the speed of 74 mph (Basolo et al. 258). To track and monitor hurricanes, meteorologists use various tools such as satellites, radar systems, hurricane hunter aircraft, and computer models. These tools help to predict the path, intensity, and potential impact of these storms. Their findings enable authorities to issue warnings and help affected communities prepare and respond to hurricane threats.

Causes of Hurricanes

A combination of factors causes hurricanes. First, hurricanes occur when warm ocean waters are around 27oC or higher, which gives the necessary energy for their formation and intensification (Basolo et al. 267). The warm water evaporates, transferring heat and moisture into the atmosphere that fuels the storm’s energy. Secondly, hurricanes occur when there are pre-existing weather disturbances, such as tropical waves or low-pressure systems. These disturbances enable the initial convergence of warm, moist air essential for developing thunderstorms. The earth’s rotation also plays a critical role in forming hurricanes. The Coriolis Effect causes the air to rotate around the areas of low pressure such that, in the northern hemisphere, hurricanes rotate counterclockwise, while in the southern hemisphere, they rotate clockwise (Basolo et al. 269). These rotations help to generate the distinct circular motion of the storm. Lastly, hurricanes occur when there is a favorable upper-level wind in the ocean. These winds are relatively weak to allow a hurricane to develop vertically and maintain its strength.

Threats of Hurricanes

Hurricanes cause significant damage along the coastal areas when they occur. First, they result in property damage and destruction. These powerful winds tear off roofs, collapse structures, and topple trees and power lines, causing significant damage to homes, building, and infrastructure. Additionally, the floods associated with hurricanes affect coastal areas, destroying houses and public infrastructures such as roads, bridges, and utilities. One of the most devastating hurricanes in U.S. history was Hurricane Katrina in 2005 (Berlemann 101). This hurricane caused widespread property damage along the Gulf Coast. The storm breached the floodwall in New Orleans, resulting in catastrophic flooding, destroying thousands of homes. The entire neighborhood was submerged, making many houses uninhabitable. It was estimated to destroy property exceeding $125 billion.

Secondly, hurricanes result in massive loss of life and injuries. Hurricanes have claimed many lives in the United States. High winds, storm surges, and flooding expose people to injuries and fatalities. At times, emergency response teams cannot go for rescue for fear of their life, placing even more people in danger. One of the great catastrophes that because the significant loss of life was Hurricane Katrina. This hurricane claimed over 1,200 lives in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama (Berlemann 103). The flooding and the collapse of buildings caused many deaths. In addition, the aftermath of the hurricane caused other deaths as people experienced limited access to medical care, safe drinking water, and adequate food posing major health risks in the areas.

Nonetheless, hurricanes contribute to substantial economic losses. Economic losses occur in many ways related to disruption and destruction. First, hurricane causes extensive damage to homes, building, and infrastructure. The cost of repair stains family finances and insurance companies. Additionally, hurricanes disrupt business operations, resulting in lost productivity and revenue. Many businesses in the coastal regions are closed down or reduced operations due to property damage, power outage, and the need for repair (Berlemann 107). As a result, small businesses struggle to recover and face long-term financial challenges. In addition, the loss of jobs and income for workers further impact local economies. Moreover, hurricanes affect the tourism and hospitality industry, the major economic activities along the coastal line. Travel disruptions, cancellations, and safety concerns deter visitors, reducing tourism revenue. Besides, hurricanes affect the agricultural sectors, impacting crops and livestock. High winds and heavy rainfall damage crops and livestock, reducing yield and thus causing loss to farmers (Berlemann 107). They also make the government spend on disaster response, recovery, and rebuilding. These expenditures increase the country’s public debt and budgetary strain, affecting economic growth.

Lastly, hurricanes have a profound emotional and psychological impact on victims. Those who Survive hurricane results in Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (Berlemann 111). The intense fear, helplessness, and exposure to the life-threatening situation cause this disorder. In addition, hurricanes result in deaths and destruction of properties and the surrounding. Copping with these losses can make a person have deep emotional pain and mourning. Hurricanes also disrupt the normal routines of people. It causes loss of electricity, water supply, communication networks, and access to essential services. These disruptions adversely impact the social support system, leading to isolation and loneliness (Berlemann 111). Therefore, it is essential to give support and resources to people affected by hurricanes to address the emotional and psychological impact. These supports include counseling, access to mental health services, and community support systems that aid healing and recovery.


Hurricanes are powerful storms that form over warm ocean waters. They cause extreme property damage, loss of life, and economic losses. Various factors, such as warm ocean waters, weather disturbance, earth rotation, and favorable upper-level winds, influence the formation of hurricanes. Tracking and monitoring tools help the government predict their path and intensity, issue warning, and assist affected communities. Hurricanes leave a lasting emotional and psychological impact on the victims. Therefore, it is crucial to understand hurricanes’ formation and impact on preparedness and mitigation efforts. People can work toward minimizing the devastating effect of these natural calamities by focusing on prevention, response, and support measures.

Work Cited

Basolo, Victoria, Laura J. Steinberg, and Stephen Gant. “Hurricane threat in Florida: examining household perceptions, beliefs, and actions.” Environmental Hazards 16.3 2017: 253–275.

Berlemann, Michael. “Does hurricane risk affect individual well-being? Empirical evidence on the indirect effects of natural disasters.” Ecological Economics 124 2016: 99–113.


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