HURCON

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Hurricane Condition (HURCON) is an alert scale used by the United States Armed Forces in the North Atlantic and the North Pacific to indicate the state of emergency or preparedness for an approaching hurricane. This designation is especially important to installations in the southern Atlantic region, as it is most affected by hurricanes. In the western Pacific, where hurricanes are referred to as typhoons, the scale is called Tropical Cyclone Condition of Readiness (TCCOR). A HURCON or TCCOR can be issued up to 96 hours before a hurricane is expected to strike the installation.[1]

HURCON conditions[edit]

As of 2019, the scale - which has been updated several times - consists of 5 levels, from HURCON 5 to HURCON 1, with three additional sub-levels for HURCON 1.[2] As with civilian alerts, buildings may be boarded up and personnel evacuated. In addition; aircraft, ships, equipment, and other assets will be relocated, tied down, bunkered, or otherwise secured. The contraction was chosen in line with other military terminology in use like DEFCON and FPCON to communicate hazardous conditions.[3]

HURCON Hours Criteria Instructions
5 96 Destructive winds are possible within 96 hours. Monitor weather stations. Review family/personal plan. Inspect/inventory shelter or evacuation kit. Check vehicles, prescriptions and food. Brief family members on situation. Determine plan for pets. Ensure vehicle and generator fuel tanks are full.
4 72 Destructive winds are possible within 72 hours. Ensure you have completed all steps/precautions listed for HURCON 5. Continue to monitor local T.V. and radio. Prepare home for hurricane. Clear yard of loose materials that could possibly turn into projectiles. Update Air Force Personnel Accountability and Assessment System (AFPAAS). Identify closest shelter.
3 48 Destructive winds are possible within 48 hours. Ensure you have completed steps/precautions listed for HURCON 4 and 5. Finish preparations for storm. Gather evacuation items. Secure home and belongings. Prepare for potential evacuation.
2 24 Destructive winds are possible within 24 hours. Ensure you have completed all steps/precautions listed for HURCON 3, 4 and 5. Monitor T.V. and radio. Brief family members on evacuation/ride out plan. If going to a shelter, don't forget evacuation/shelter kit. Remain in shelter until released by proper officials.
1 12 Destructive winds are possible within 12 hours. Ensure you have completed all steps/precautions listed for HURCON 2, 3, 4 and 5. Evacuate if still safe to do so. Monitor T.V. and radio. Remain in shelter until released by proper officials. If not sheltered, find shelter immediately, or prepare to “ride-out” in your home.
1C 0 Caution: Winds of 40-57 mph sustained are occurring. All outside activity is prohibited. Remain in shelter until released by proper officials. If not sheltered, find shelter immediately.
1E 0 Emergency: Winds of 58 mph sustained and/or gusts of 69 mph or greater are occurring. Remain in shelter until released by proper officials.
1R Recovery: Destructive winds have subsided and are no longer forecast to occur. Non-essential functions remain closed unless directed otherwise by the wing commander. All but emergency personnel remain in quarters until further notice. If evacuated do not return to base until directed to do so.

TCCOR conditions[edit]

As of 2019, TCCOR consists of TCCOR Storm Watch, TCCOR 5 to TCCOR 1, three additional sub-levels for TCCOR 1, and TCCOR All Clear.[4]

TCCOR Hours Criteria Instructions
5 96 Destructive winds are possible within 96 hours. Only used outside of the typical typhoon season; from December 1 to May 31. Stock up on food, water, and emergency supplies.
4 72 Destructive sustained winds of 50 knots or greater possible within 72 hours. Lowest level of alert during the typhoon season (June 1-November 30) Stock up on food, bottled water, dry milk, batteries, flashlights, candles and other emergency supplies.
Storm Watch Strong winds of 35 knots sustained or greater are possible due to the proximity of a tropical cyclone; however, winds are not forecast to meet the destructive wind criteria. Stay alert for any changes to TCCOR status.
3 48 Destructive sustained winds of 50 knots or greater possible within 48 hours. Initiate a general clean-up around your home, apartment and office. Pick up loose items, such as toys, garden tools and lawn furniture.
2 24 Destructive sustained winds of 50 knots or greater anticipated within 24 hours. Secure all outdoor property such as picnic tables, barbecue grills, etc.
1 12 Destructive sustained winds of 50 knots or greater are expected within 12 hours. Fill any available containers with water. Make a final check of food, water and other supplies.
1C 0 Caution: Winds of 35-49 knots sustained are occurring (at a particular installation). DODDs schools are closed.
1E 0 Emergency: Winds of 50 knots sustained or gust factors of 60 knots or greater are occurring at a particular installation. All outside activities are prohibited.
1R Recovery: Destructive winds have subsided and are no longer forecast to occur. Survey and work crews are sent out to determine the extent of damage and to establish safe zones around hazards (e.g. downed power lines, unstable structures). The general base population would normally be asked to remain indoors.
All Clear The storm is over and not forecast to return. Storm damage could still present a danger. Until the recovery process is complete and the risk of injury and/or damage to personnel and property has been mitigated to a safe level, the general base population would normally be asked to remain indoors.

Notes[edit]

  • It is possible to return to TCCOR Storm Watch or TCCOR 4 from a higher level of alert if the storm is no longer forecast to reach destructive wind criteria at the installation.
  • Destructive wind criteria: 50 knots sustained or gust factors of 60 knots or greater.

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.tyndall.af.mil/Hurricane/
  2. ^ https://www.tyndall.af.mil/Hurricane/
  3. ^ "Eglin Air Force Base - Hurricane Season". Archived from the original on 2008-02-22. Retrieved 2008-05-06.
  4. ^ https://www.kadena.af.mil/About-Us/Typhoons/