There are multiple different disasters that the Earth can conjure up. Many of them are more severe than mankind is able to defend against, so as a result, they can be very devastating to civilization all around the world. One of the worst kinds of natural disasters that this world throws at us is the hurricane. Hurricanes are capable of destroying millions and millions of homes with just a single storm and can cause billions of dollars in destruction to property wherever they land. Hurricanes are tropical storms that form above warm water near the equator. Hurricanes are also known as typhoons, cyclones, severe tropical cyclones, and severe cyclonic storms. The process of hurricanes forming is a very tedious but simple process. As the wind passes over the warm ocean water (at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit), the water evaporates and goes into the atmosphere. As it evaporates, it condenses back into large water droplets forming large cumulonimbus clouds. These clouds are the first stage of the tedious cycle. There are four developmental cycles that a tropical storm goes through. Those are tropical disturbance, tropical depression, tropical storm, and full-fledged tropical cyclone. A tropical disturbance is the first stage. As the water condenses back into clouds, heat is released. That warm air then rises and is pulled into the column of cloud. This process repeats, and the clouds build larger and larger. A pattern of air starts to occur at the center of this column of clouds, and as more clouds are added on, it becomes a cluster of thunderstorm clouds. This is a tropical disturbance. A tropical depression is the second stage of the formation of hurricanes. As the thunderstorms grow more and more immense, the air at the top is cooling and becoming unstable. As heat is released from the water vapor, the air at the top becomes warmer which increases air pressure. This causes winds to move outward away from the high pressure areas. This movement and warming cause the pressure at the surface to drop. The air at the surface moves towards the low pressure area and creates more thunderstorms. While this is happening, the winds in the storm cloud column are increasing in speed. When the winds reach 25-38 MPH, it is then labeled a tropical depression. A tropical storm is the third stage of the formation of hurricanes. A tropical storm will occur after the winds have at least reached 39 MPH. The winds continue to get faster around the eye of the storm. The winds in the Northern Hemisphere spin counterclockwise, and the winds in the Southern Hemisphere spin clockwise. This is referred to as the “Coriolis Effect”. A tropical cyclone is the final stage of the formation of hurricanes. This will happen when the wind reaches 74 MPH, being 50,000 feet high and 125 Miles across. The center of the storm can be anywhere from 5 to 30 Miles wide. The trade winds cause the storm to be directed West, and the air pressure with the wind can cause a large mass of water to pile up near the eye of the storm, which can cause enormous storm surges. They are categorized from 1 to 5 on the intensity of the storm, 1 being minimal damage, 5 being catastrophic. To the environment, these storms can cause sea levels to rise several meters above their normal position, which means that flooding will occur and cause many plants, animals, and people to be harmed, or have to relocate. Along with the flooding, the powerful winds are capable of knocking buildings over and causing very serious damage to landscape, farmlands, and animals’ homes. Hurricane Katrina is probably the most well-known, and most devastating that we have recorded. In total, it has dealt $150 to $200 Billion dollars worth of damage that we have had to recover from, and repair. We recover from these sorts of storms by raising money and hiring help from all around the world, and pitching in to get the supplies we need to rebuild what once was there. Red Cross, FEMA, National Guard Soldiers, and many more organizations pitched in to help with the rebuilding of Hurricane Katrina. People in hurricane-popular areas do many different things to prepare for the arrival and impact of Hurricanes. Some of these things include cutting and shaving trees of branches so none fall on houses, secure rain gutters and other water-disposal objects to help protect your property from water damage, overstock on food in case the storm lasts a long while and stores aren’t available after the storm hits, and building or going to a storm shelter to be safe from the storm if evacuation isn’t an option. Even with these precautions, Hurricanes are still able to cause a great deal of damage in a short amount of time and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Overall, Hurricanes can be one of the worst storms that reach our shores. They can be rare to form, but are hard to stop once they get going, and everyone should prepare for the worst. The impact of Hurricanes can be extremely catastrophic and the damage they can cause can be in the billions of dollars. Make sure you’re prepared for them, and make sure you know how dangerous they can really be.