Cyclones (Tropical) – Vulnerability Assessment


If you live in an area prone to tropical cyclones, even areas well away from the coastline, you can be threatened by destructive winds, tornadoes and flooding from these storms.

According to the NOAA – Hurricane Research Division, the following records for the period of reliable data hold for the entire Atlantic basin (from 1966-2016) and for the USA coastline (1900-2016):


Category Average Maximum Years Minimum Years
Named storms
(including subtropical storms)
11.7 28 2005 4 1983
Hurricanes 6.3 15 2005 2 1982,2013
Major Hurricanes 2.4 7 2005* 0 many times, last 2013
USA landfalling hurricanes 1.7 6 1985, 2004, 2005+ 0 many, last 2015
USA landfalling major hurricanes 0.6 4 2005 0 many, last 2016

* 1950 is recorded as the busiest season in the whole database for number of Major Hurricanes with 8.
+ 1886 is recorded as the most active hurricane season for the continental USA with 7 landfalling hurricanes.

Tropical Cyclone Vulnerability Assessment Questions

To assess your vulnerability to the threat of a Tropical Cyclone to your family and property, perform an assessment to determine if you have knowledge of, are prepared and/or have a plan by answering the following questions:

General All-Hazard Questions:

  • Have you determined the disaster risks in your locale and the hazards that accompany them?
  • Do you know the emergency warning signals and alert notifications used in your community?
  • Have you instructed family members how to shut off water, gas and electricity to your house?
  • Have you made the necessary property preparations to reduce the damage from the hazard?
  • Do you have a backup generator in case of a prolonged power failure?
  • Have you purchased insurance (property, health, life, and/or hazard type)?
  • Have you made the necessary financial arrangements in case of a sudden evacuation and power outage that shuts down local ATMs and banks?
  • have you organized important documents and records and stored them in a portable lock box or safe-deposit box?
  • Have you performed a home inventory video taping the contents stored them in a portable lock box or safe-deposit box?
  • Does your family have an established Emergency Communication Plan and evacuation plan in place and asked an out-of-state person to serve as the “family contact”?
  • Have you assembled a shelter-in-place Emergency Supplies Kit in case you have to shelter at home and you are without power?
  • Have you assembled a mobile Emergency Supplies Kit that can serve as a “grab and go” bag?
  • Are you or someone in your family trained in first aid and CPR?
  • Have you made they necessary preparations and arrangements for pets, seniors, and the disabled?
  • Have you familiarized yourself with the emergency plans of your family member’s employment building, school, day care center, or nursing home?

Hazard Specific Questions:

  • Is your home located in a flood plain?
  • Is your home vulnerable to storm surge?
  • Does your home have hurricane shutters installed on all windows or have sheets of ½ inch thick marine grade plywood been prepared as widow coverings?
  • Have the roof and walls been tied together using hurricane straps and clips?
  • Do you have a hurricane resistant garage door or has it been braced to protect it against hurricane force winds?
  • If your home has a gabled roof, has it been braced?
  • Are all utility shutoffs clearly marked?
  • Have trees and shrubs been pruned to remove dead, decayed or diseased limbs?
  • Have gutters been inspected and cleaned?
  • Have you completed a list of loose items that need to be moved indoors during a hurricane?
  • Have manufactured (mobile) home tie downs been inspected for signs of rust or damage?

Atlantic Basin Tropical Cyclone Probabilities

This image represent the chance at any particular location that a tropical storm or hurricane will affect the area sometime during Atlantic hurricane season (June 1 – November 30). Based on years 1944 to 1999 in the analysis and counted hits when a storm or hurricane was within about 100 miles (165 km).[3]

Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Formation Regions[4]

Atlantic Basin Tropical Cyclone Frequency Per Month

The official hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin (the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico) is from 1 June to 30 November. As seen in the graph below, the peak of the season is from mid-August to late October. However, deadly hurricanes can occur anytime in the hurricane season.[5]

Tropical Cyclone Storms per 100 Years[6]



  1. NOAA Publication – Tropical Cyclones:
  2. Image Source: [Accessed July 14, 2013]
  3. Hurricane Research Division – What is my chance of being struck by a tropical storm or hurricane?:
  4. Image Source: [Accessed July 14, 2013]
  5. National Hurricane Center – Tropical Cyclone Climatology:
  6. Image Source: [Accessed July 14, 2013]