The Dangers of Tropical Cyclones: Tips on Protecting You and Your Property

The Dangers of Tropical Cyclones: Tips on Protecting You and Your Property


Tropical cyclones are powerful and destructive weather events that can cause significant damage and loss of life. With the increasing frequency and intensity of these storms, it’s important to be prepared. In this article, we’ll discuss the process of tropical cyclone formation, as well as some tips on how to prepare for one.

How do Tropical Cyclones Form?

Warm Water and Moist Air

Tropical cyclones form over warm ocean waters near the equator. The warm water provides the energy needed for the storm to develop, while the moist air provides the fuel for the storm to grow. As the warm, moist air rises from the ocean surface, it cools and condenses, forming clouds and releasing heat. This heat release causes the air to rise even faster, creating a feedback loop that sustains the storm’s growth.

Low Pressure and Coriolis Effect

Another factor in tropical cyclone formation is low pressure. When the warm, moist air rises and cools, it creates an area of low pressure at the surface. This low pressure draws in more warm, moist air from the surrounding area, fueling the storm even further. Additionally, the Coriolis effect, caused by the Earth’s rotation, causes the air to spin as it moves towards the low pressure center. As the air spins faster and faster, it can develop into a tropical cyclone.

Eye and Eyewall

As the tropical cyclone continues to grow and spin, it develops an eye in the center. The eye is a calm area with clear skies, surrounded by a ring of clouds called the eyewall. The eyewall is the most intense part of the storm, with the strongest winds and heaviest rainfall. The combination of the eye and eyewall creates the characteristic “pinwheel” shape of a tropical cyclone.

Tips to Keep You Safe

Stock up on Supplies

One of the most important things you can do to prepare for a tropical cyclone is to stock up on supplies. This includes non-perishable food, bottled water, batteries, flashlights, and a first aid kit. You should also have a supply of any necessary medications and important documents, such as passports and insurance papers. Make sure to keep these supplies in a safe and easily accessible place.

Position Sandbags

Using sandbags can be a crucial step in preparing for a tropical cyclone, especially if you live in a low-lying area. Sandbags can help divert water away from your property and prevent flooding. To use sandbags effectively, place them in a row around the perimeter of your property, making sure that each bag is firmly packed and overlapped with the next. You can also stack the sandbags to create a barrier against rising water. When the storm has passed, be sure to dispose of the sandbags properly.

Secure Your Property

Another crucial step in preparing for a tropical cyclone is to secure your property. This includes clearing your yard of any loose items, boarding up windows and doors, and reinforcing your roof. You should also make sure that your gutters are clear of debris and that any trees or shrubs near your home are trimmed back. Strong winds can turn any of these objects into dangerous projectiles, so securing, cleaning, and trimming can help to mitigate these dangers.

Stay Informed

Finally, it’s important to stay informed about the storm and any evacuation orders. Keep a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio on hand to listen for updates and instructions from local authorities. You should also sign up for emergency alerts and make sure that your cell phone is fully charged. If you are ordered to evacuate, do so immediately and follow all instructions from emergency responders.


Tropical cyclones are a serious threat to life and property in many parts of the world. By understanding how these storms form and taking the necessary precautions, you can help protect yourself and your loved ones. Remember to stock up on supplies, position sandbags, secure your property, and stay informed about the storm and any evacuation orders. By following these tips, you can weather the storm and minimize the impact on your life.