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In the Path of a Hurricane



In the Path of a Hurricane
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 10
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.94

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    hurricane-prone, restock, evacuation, pinpoint, low-lying, landfall, alternate, advance, addition, meteorologists, warning, issue, enforcement, occasionally, inland, within
     content words:    Mother Nature, United States, National Hurricane Center, National Weather Service, National Oceanic, Atmospheric Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency


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In the Path of a Hurricane
By Trista L. Pollard
  

1     When Mother Nature speaks, we need to listen! In other words, when natural disasters and severe weather occur, we need to take precautions to stay safe. In the case of hurricanes, people who live and work in coastal areas need advance warning to prepare for severe weather.
 
2     In the United States the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, Florida, which is part of the National Weather Service (NWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), monitors and tracks tropical storms and hurricanes. Once they have detected a hurricane, meteorologists must then accurately pinpoint where the storm will make landfall. The NHC will then issue hurricane watches and warnings. Hurricane watches are announced when the storm is 36 hours away from land. This watch is usually given for people within a 300-mile stretch of coastline. Once a warning is issued, this means the storm is 24 hours away from land and projected to strike a particular coastal area.
 
3     Now you know why the NHC's job is extremely important. Their watches and warnings are the only way people know when to prepare for a severe storm. Law enforcement officials need at least 12 to 24 hours to evacuate thousands of people from an area. Businesses and citizens need time to board up their homes with wood. If given enough time, ships and boats could be moved to safer areas. All of these safety precautions can cost over 10 million dollars. This cost is much smaller than the cost to rebuild after a hurricane has devastated an area. Most importantly, advance warning can help to save many human lives. Occasionally, a storm arrives before people can be evacuated. This is when law enforcement and the military help to rescue people who are trapped by flood waters or in buildings that have been damaged by the storm.

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