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Getting prepared for a hurricane starts with understanding the common terminology that you hear or read when one is forthcoming. While hurricanes don’t affect Utah, they wreak havoc on other parts of the country and dominate news headlines during hurricane season (typically June through November). You may even have friends or relatives living in hurricane-prone areas.

When weather forecasters talk about hurricanes, they often use terminology that is specific to this brand of natural disaster. Here’s a look at two key terms used to warn people about hurricane threats.

A hurricane watch

A hurricane watch means that weather conditions for a hurricane are possible within the next 48 hours. Hurricane conditions include sustained winds of 75 mph or more. The announcement of a hurricane watch allows people to get ready for the incoming storm before the winds heighten. During a hurricane watch, people can prepare by doing the following:

  • Get information about the threat. Monitor the radio reports, and listen for updates from local authorities.
  • Review your evacuation plan, and inform family members about the possibility of evacuating.
  • Procure emergency supplies such as food, water, first aid, fuel, and flashlights with batteries.
  • Have your car ready for the evacuation. Gather emergency supplies in a location close to your exit door and your car. Make sure that you have adequate gas for the trip ahead.

A hurricane warning

When the announcement of a hurricane watch is replaced by a \warning, it means that you can expect the hurricane conditions to come within 24 to 36 hours. A hurricane warning means that the storm is imminent. You must be ready to take the following steps:

  • Complete your preparations for the storm and start securing your home.
  • Once the local authorities issue the order, start the evacuation.
  • If the authorities ask you to stay in place, gather your family members to a location in the home away from the windows.
  • Keep monitoring the weather reports to watch the path of the hurricane. Tune in to the NOAA radio for updates.

Now you know the difference between a hurricane watch and warning. And though Utah isn’t hurricane-prone, it is vulnerable to other natural disasters. If you experience a calamity due to natural or man-made emergencies, contact The Disaster Company for fast and safe clean-up so that you can move on with your life.