Terms You Should Know About Disasters


Large revolving tropical storms caused by winds blowing around a central area of low atmospheric pressure. Called cyclones in the southern hemisphere, they rotate in a clockwise direction. They are hurricanes or typhoons in the northern hemisphere cyclones and they rotate in a counterclockwise direction.


A series of vibrations under the earths crust due to the rupture or movement of rocks where underground pressure has been building.


Violent tropical storms with wind speeds over 72 mph. Hurricanes are extremely violent and usually very destructive storm.

Storm Surge

The huge wave produced during a hurricane, usually more violent than the storm itself.


A violently concentrated wind storm over land that can be recognized by a long funnel-shaped cloud that is visible due to the condensation and debris it carries.


A very large sea wave produced by an earthquake, volcano, or some other underground/water explosion.


Vents in the Earth's crust through which lava and steam are expelled when pressure builds up. Generally a small hill or mountain is built up with a crater at the top around the vent.


Any fire that spreads rapidly and is difficult to extinguish. 

Check out our resources page for more info on fires. GO