Storm warningsThanks to modern science, meteorologists are now usually able to
predict tropical storms early enough so that people in the storm's path can be warned in advance. If it looks like the storm could be a serious one, people can take precautions like boarding up their houses or evacuating low-lying coastal areas.
The storm hits Severe tropical storms plough
through the countryside, leaving a path of
devastation in their wakes. Winds lash coastal communities, uprooting trees, ripping off roofs and
collapsing buildings in the process. A storm may abate temporarily as it moves inland only to regain its full fury as it hits open water again.
Torrential rains accompanying the storm swell rivers and the surging waters then overflow river banks, submerging the surrounding area, and isolating communities until the flood waters recede.
Rescue work begins Rescue workers begin looking for victims as soon as the storm subsides enough to make it safe for them to do so. They comb the debris for survivors, assist the injured
and, if necessary, dispose of the bodies of those who perish to prevent epidemics. Emergency hospitals and temporary morgues are set up. Appeals for blood donations are made through the media.
Casualty tolls and damage estimates The first statistics concern the number of dead and injured.
In the confused aftermath of a storm, however, the first casualty tolls are usually inaccurate, and it may be days, even weeks before the true figures are known. The same is true of damage estimates.
Future consequences If there has been serious loss of life and property, people naturally turn
their attention to how to prevent similar occurrences in the future. While there is little they can do to prevent tropical storms, they can mimimise their effects. Warning systems can be improved, emergency shelters provided, flood walls built or strengthened, pumps installed, storm insurance plans introduced, and, most importantly, people can be educated on how to deal with disasters when they happen.