People Underestimate Hurricanes With Female Names

People Underestimate Hurricanes With Female Names

Yep, you read that right. According to published research, hurricanes with female names are consistently underestimated by the general public and have devastating results.

Each year, meteorologists create a list of names that will be used for hurricanes that enter the country’s territory in alphabetical order. The names are chosen by the World Meteorological Organization and feature names from both genders.

But when the name is female, the general public seems to not worry as much. Perhaps it is a deep seeded belief that females are not as dangerous as men. However the results speak volumes: never underestimate a female-named hurricane’s wrath. People have, and it has cost them their lives. A little known fact, before 1979 only female names were used to name storms.

What The Data Says

Research teams poured over 60 years of data on hurricanes that have affected the United States. One thing became clear. The most damaging hurricanes in the world are the ones with female names. This results in death tolls nearly twice as high as hurricanes with male names.

Take into consideration Hurricane Katrina, one of the worst hurricanes in the history of the world. Similarly, Hurricane Audrey did just as much damage yet researchers did not want to skew the data. If Hurricane Katrina and Audrey were included in this research it would confirm this point even further.

Within the study, this gender bias even suggests that if a hurricane had a different name—male rather than female or vice versa—that the death toll would be different. Changing the name from Hurricane Charley to Hurricane Eloise, for example, could result in 3 times as many deaths.

No Matter The Name, Always Take Precautions

Whether the bias stems from people considering males to be more aggressive than females, the fact of the matter is that this is no coincidence. It is a danger. With devastating storms like Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, it is time to look beyond the gender of the name.

While the meteorological companies may need to refocus the way they name hurricanes, it is important that the average person ignores the name of storm. They need to focus on the fact that a hurricane is still a hurricane and can have devastating results.

Taking necessary hurricane and storm precautions is essential to ensuring you and your family stay safe and secure. Whether it is a Hurricane Alexander or a Hurricane Alexandra, having essential items such as a standby generator is important to keep in mind.