Below is a simple guide on the types of disasters that can occur (at least the most common).
Hurricanes are violent areas of low pressure forming in the tropical Atlantic Ocean from June to November. Hurricanes have winds of 75 miles per hour or more and are accompanied by torrential rains and along coastal regions storm surge.
Hurricane strength is classified using the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Damage Potential Scale. This scale correlates hurricane strength to barometric pressure, windspeed, and storm surge as shown in the table below. The Scale can be accessed by clicking here.
Tornadoes are powerful, circular windstorms that may be accompanied by winds of 200 or more miles per hour. Tornadoes may range in width from several hundred yards to more than one mile across. Parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida are at highest risk of tornado strike.
Tornadoes are classified using the Fujita Wind Damage Scale. You can view this Scale by clicking here.
Earthquakes are a shaking or trembling of the earth, caused by underground volcanic forces or by breaking and shifting of rock beneath the surface. Although the area of greatest earthquake risk is the west coast, where tectonic activity occurs along the San Andreas fault, other areas of the United States are also at risk of earthquakes.
Earthquakes are classified as small, moderate, major, or great based on the Richter scale (a measure of energy released during the quake). The Richter scale has a logarithmic base, so each increment on the scale is multiplied by a factor that is 10 times larger than the previous factor. To view this Scale click here.