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TTC Special. Caribbean: Who’s afraid of hurricanes?


Hurricanes, or cyclones as they call these storms in this part of the world are an uncontrollable fury of nature.

TTC Service.- Hurricanes are a weather phenomenon that besides threatening Caribbean countries, often scaring tourists. These monstrous tropical storms arise in the warm Caribbean sea every year from June to November.

Hurricanes, or cyclones as they call these storms in this part of the world are an uncontrollable fury of nature. Therefore, some experts recommend “avoid” the hurricane season. Between June  and October or November each year, tourists will find lower prices in the Caribbean, less-crowded beaches, warmer weather and cheaper airfares, all because the hurricane season.

It is true that these storms, even those considered being weak, usually causes winds to topple trees and buildings with flooding rains causing heavy loss of human lives.  Despite the grave threat posed hurricanes several Caribbean countries dependent on its tourism studying new programs in order to reduce the disaster caused by such storms.

In Cuba, for example, where tourism industry plays a very important role, the hurricane protection is very well organized with excellent measures to protect tourists in case of hurricane. Among other measures, there are early warning systems in place so that people can be evacuated even days before the hurricane arrives. According to “Know about Cuba.com” web site, the Cuban meteorological department predicts the hurricane weeks before it arrives.

Television and radio stations broadcast daily warnings and advise people on the safest methods of dealing with the hurricane. In most Cuban hotels, construction is done with wind-safe material like concrete and ceramic. These offer guests protection in case a hurricane hits the city. In some of the popular beaches in Cuba, the government maintains mangroves along the coastline as these act as natural shock absorbers and soak up destructive waves.

Hurricane protection

Nowadays, there are current and emerging technologies of hurricane protection. According to another digital site titled “Hurricanes: Science and Society” the science of hurricane protection has evolved significantly over the past decade, fueled by an intensely destructive period of hurricane activity.

The decade of 1996 to 2005 was the one of the most destructive decades in the last century with total hurricane damage of $198 billion. A key focus of the modern building code is the exterior of the building, also known as the building envelope. New homes built in Florida within an area where 120 mph winds or greater are expected must have exterior impact protection.

Examples of impact protection include impact-resistant windows, hurricane shutters and reinforced doors. Other code changes for 120 mph wind zones include mandatory roof straps that connect the roof of a home through cables all the way to a basement or concrete slab. The building code community is now looking more closely at energy codes and how they interact with building codes to ensure that homes built in the future can provide energy efficiency and impact protection at the same time. Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands enforce one or more of those codes against hurricanes.

Indeed, the announcement of arrival of a hurricane is very bad news. But if you are at that critical moment in any Caribbean island vacation you will surely have enough time to be evacuated to safer or just go home.

That advantage is because the Caribbean is closely watched by the more specialized meteorological technology that may exist in the world and therefore you will have in your hands, in advance, sufficient data and time to make the right decision.