Epidemiology of tropical cyclones: The dynamics of disaster, disease, and development

Tropical cyclones—variously defined as hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones—regularly impact human populations and periodically produce devastating weather-related natural disasters. The epidemiology of tropical cyclones is fundamentally determined by the physical forces of massive cyclonic systems intersecting with patterns of human behavior. The destructive forces of cyclonic winds, inundating rains, and storm surge are frequently accompanied by floods, tornadoes, and landslides. Human factors include land use and settlement patterns, building design and construction, forecasting and warning systems, risk perception, evacuation, and sheltering. Preparedness and mitigation strategies for minimizing harm include family disaster planning, stocking of hurricane supplies, protection of home sites, timely response to public warnings, and alertness to poststorm hazards.