On Average, More Death from a Female Hurricane
A simple name change does not make a hurricane inherently more dangerous. If you switched the name of a hurricane from Alexander to Alexandria, it would not suddenly grow in size and strength. More rain would not suddenly start falling, the flood levels would not increase. So why does this new study, which examined the 94 hurricanes that have hit the United States from 1950 to 2012, show that female hurricanes killed more people on average? And it’s not even close, the study showed that if a male hurricane of a certain strength killed 15 people, then a female hurricane at the same strength would have killed 42.
Be Wary of Subconscious Misconceptions
The researchers believe this phenomena is caused by our society’s beliefs about the differences between men and women. Since we associate women with being more gentle, loving, and tender than men, people associate this with female-named hurricanes as well. This leads to a lack in preparation and ultimately, more death. During the study, when asked, people were more likely to associate a male hurricane with power and danger, and therefore more likely to prepare and survive.
The study is profound in multiple ways, but the main things to take away from it are: do not let a misconception about the severity of a hurricane based off of its name take the lives of you or your family, and always prepare accordingly. Implicit in the study is an obvious link between preparation and survival. We offer a range of safe room and storm shelter products that could be the difference between life and death for your loved ones. Check out our above-ground safe rooms, modular safe rooms, and underground bunkers for more information.
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Hurricane Irene by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center