Initial Publication Date: August 12, 2008

Death and Destruction

A home in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina damaged by Hurricane Dennis, 2005. Photograph courtesy of and copyright by University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. Photographer: Carlye Calvin

Seen from space, the simple elegance of a hurricane spiral can belie the deadly power of these storms. In this lab, you'll view pictures or video from the inside of hurricanes. You'll find out just how the storms cause the death and destruction attributed to them.

After completing this investigation, you should be able to:

  • describe the dangers to life and property posed by hurricanes;
  • interpret reports to list common causes of death attributed to hurricanes;
  • explain the difficulties in making an accurate count of deaths attributed to Hurricane Katrina;
  • interpret the graphical results of a computer model of a storm surge and compare it to a simple physical model;
  • prepare an outline for being prepared to safely survive a hurricane.

Keeping Track of What You Learn

Throughout these labs, you will find two kinds of questions.
  • Checking In questions are intended to keep you engaged and focused on key concepts and to allow you to periodically check if the material is making sense. These questions are often accompanied by hints or answers to let you know if you are on the right track.
  • Stop and Think questions are intended to help your teacher assess your understanding of the key concepts and skills you should be learning from the lab activities and readings.
Your teacher will let you know which answers you should record and turn in.