Homeowner's Academy

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Hurricanes With Female Names Are Just As Dangerous

by BROOKE GOLD HASSON | Jul 09, 2014

hurricane-season-prep-300x199A Lack of Preparation Leads to More Deaths

Even hurricanes are not safe from the battle of the sexes.

New research has found that people don’t feel as threatened by hurricanes and tropical storms with women’s names, and that this lack of fear is directly related to a death rate that’s roughly three-times higher than storms with men’s names.

This means we should take all storms seriously, no matter what they’re being called.

The First Hurricanes Were Women

The World Meteorological Organization began naming storms in the 1950s and initially all storms were given female names. This was designed to help people understand when to evacuate or take other precautions because multiple storms can form at the same time.

Named storms also help governments and emergency services better prepare their response. A storm gets a name when it is able to sustain winds at 39 mph.

In 1979, men’s names got added to the mix and now storms alternate between men and women. The WMO list is now released ahead of the hurricane season so we know what to expect. This year’s storm names are:

Atlantic and Subtropical Storm Names























The Name Study

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a new study that found storms with female names kill an average of 42 people while storms named for men kill just 15.

The averages for storms with female names is likely much, much larger because it doesn’t include Hurricane Katrina’s 1,833 deaths and the 550 people killed by Audrey in 1957.

One piece of great news from the study is that we’re talking all storms and floods more seriously in recent years and we’re safer. Deaths from hurricanes have significantly decreased since the 1970s as our weather alerts and reporting have improved.

When looking at hurricanes in relation to property damage, however, male storms seem to be the bigger brute. Overall, storms named for men have caused more damage even though storms with female names are the two most costly. The top three are:

  • Hurricane Katrina: $145 billion
  • Hurricane Sandy: $65 billion
  • Hurricane Andrew: $43.5 billion

How To Prepare for Any Storm

No matter what the name of any storm is, you need to get your home and family ready. We’ve built a great guide that can show you exactly what steps to take for your home, what supplies you need, and how to plan for evacuations.

We want to help you take care of all your needs and explain all of the nuances of the emergency planning. For example, your food supply should include:

  • A 7-day supply of non-perishable food.
  • Hand-operated can opener.
  • Plastic plates, cups, utensils.
  • Napkins or paper towels.

Whenever a storm watch or warning is issued, it’s time to take immediate action. Download our guide for all our helpful hints for before, during and after a storm. Keep yourself safe and we’ll take care of your home.