WTOC Hurricane Center: Be Prepared - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports


TAKING ACTION is as easy as 1 - 2 - 3:

1      BEFORE

2      WATCH

3      WARNING

Before Hurricane Season Starts

Assemble your Disaster Supply Kit.

These items are often scattered around your home and simply need to be brought together into one location. Write out your Family Disaster Plan.

Discuss the possible hazards with your family.

Determine if you are in an evacuation area. Identify an out-of-town family contact.

When a Hurricane Watch is issued

Check your Disaster Supply Kit.

Make sure nothing is missing. Determine if there is anything you need to supplement your kit. Replenish your water.

Activate your Family Disaster Plan.

Protective measures should be initiated, especially those actions that require extra time (for example, securing a boat or leaving a barrier island).

When a Hurricane Warning is issued

Ready your Disaster Supply Kit for use.

If you need to evacuate, you should bring your Supply Kit with you.

Use your Family Disaster Plan.

Your family should be in the process of completing protective actions and deciding the safest location to be during the storm.

Terms You Should Know


An announcement for specific coastal areas that hurricane conditions are possible within 36 hours.


A warning that sustained winds 64 kt (74 mph or 119 km/hr) or higher associated with a hurricane are expected in a specified coastal area in 24 hours or less. A hurricane warning can remain in effect when dangerously high water or a combination of dangerously high water and exceptionally high waves continue, even though winds may be less than hurricane force.


A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind (using the U.S. 1-minute average) is 64 kt (74 mph or 119 km/hr) or more.

Tropical Storm

A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed (using the U.S. 1-minute average) ranges from 34 kt (39 mph or 63 km/hr) to 63 kt (73 mph or 118 km/hr).

Tropical Depression

A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed (using the U.S. 1-minute average) is 33 kt (38 mph or 62 km/hr) or less.

Tropical Disturbance

A discrete tropical weather system of apparently organized convection -- generally 100 to 300 nmi in diameter -- originating in the tropics or subtropics, having a nonfrontal migratory character, and maintaining its identity for 24 hours or more. It may or may not be associated with a detectable perturbation of the wind field.

Tropical Wave

A trough or cyclonic curvature maximum in the trade-wind easterlies. The wave may reach maximum amplitude in the lower middle troposphere.

Probability of Storm Conditions

The probability, in percent, that the cyclone center will pass within 50 miles to the right or 75 miles to the left of the listed location within the indicated time period when looking at the coast in the direction of the cyclone's movement.

Storm Surge

An abnormal rise in sea level accompanying a hurricane or other intense storm, and whose height is the difference between the observed level of the sea surface and the level that would have occurred in the absence of the cyclone. Storm surge is usually estimated by subtracting the normal or astronomic high tide from the observed storm tide.

Storm Tide

The actual level of sea water resulting from the astronomic tide combined with the storm surge. In this area, this value can be as high as 20 to 30 feet!

Hurricane Hazards

Storm Surge ...High Winds ...Tornadoes ...Inland Flooding ... Heavy Surf

(Information Courtesy of NOAA)

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3-Day Forecast

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 Hurricane Preparedness

 Hurricane Center
 Hurricane Tracker
 Emergency and Evacuation Information
 Be Prepared: Terms You Should Know
 Disaster Kit
 Inland Flooding: The Big Killer
 Names: 6 year list of storm names
 Pet Care
 Helpful Phone Numbers

 Additional Links

 National Hurricane Center
 NWS Charleston Tropics page
 NWS Jacksonville Tropics page
 Federal Emergency Management Agency
 Georgia Emergency Management Agency
 Chatham Emergency Management Agency
 SC Emergency Management Agency

WTOC/CEMA Weather Hotline

WTOC and the Chatham Emergency Management Agency have teamed up to make sure you stay ahead of the storms and other emergencies.

You can now get weather and emergency information by simply picking up the phone. Just dial 912.644.8811 to get weather and emergency information as well as seasonal tips.

The CEMA/WTOC weather hotline: 912.644.TV11 (8811).

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