Hurricanes bring destructive winds, storm surge, torrential rain, flooding, and tornadoes. A single storm can wreak havoc on coastal and inland communities and on natural areas over thousands of square miles.
In 2005, Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma demonstrated the devastation that hurricanes can inflict and the importance of hurricane hazards research and preparedness.
More than half of the U.S. population lives within 50 miles of a coast, and this number is increasing. Many of these areas, especially the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, will be in the direct path of future hurricanes. Hawaii is also vulnerable to hurricanes.