Pacific Disaster Center Fostering Disaster Resilient Communities  

Tropical Cyclones




    Tropical cyclones can produce heavy rainfall and sustained winds that can exceed 155 miles per hour (249 km/hr). The official seasons during which cyclones are predicted to become destructive hurricanes and typhoons are different in different areas, but the fact is that, at any time of year, a cyclone is capable of becoming a dangerous hazard.

    Related Hazards

    • Storm surge (rise in water level)
    • High winds and heavy rainfall
    • Flooding and landslides
    • Storm tide (the combination of storm surge and high tide)
    • Tornadoes


    • Have an evacuation plan and disaster supply kit ready, including a radio and batteries.
    • Install hurricane storm shutters or precut lumber for windows.
    • Remove branches and small trees that may fall on your house.
    • Clear clogged rain gutters and drains.
    • Stock extra food, water, and batteries, in case of power failures.
    • Fill large containers with water for cleaning and toilet flushing.
    • Purchase a generator for emergency power supply needs.

    What to Do if a Tropical Cyclone Threatens

    • Secure loose objects that may blow away, such as outdoor furniture.
    • Turn off water, electricity, and propane tanks, and unplug all appliances.
    • Listen to local radio stations for official announcements and instructions.
    • Stay indoors and away from windows and exterior walls and doors.
    • Evacuate to sturdy buildings or public shelters, if advised or ordered to do so.
    • Leave areas that may flood.


    NOAA National Hurricane Center

    Joint Typhoon Warning Center

    Storm Surge

    Storm surge is the most deadly hazard associated with a tropical cyclone. Winds and rain are more obvious, but large swells, high surf, and wind-driven waves push onshore as the storm impacts coastal areas, often causing extensive damage to facilities and the entire shoreline environment. Storm surge can severely erode beaches and damage or undermine highways and bridges.