A tropical storm Storm warnings Thanks to modern science, meteorologists are now usually able to predict tropical storms early enough so that people in the storms path can be warned in advance.
If it looks like the storm could be a serious one, people can take precautions like boarding up their houses or evacuating low-lying coastal areas.
Thestorm hits Severe tropical storms plough through the countryside, leaving a path of devastation in their wakes.
Windslash coastal communities, uprootingtrees, ripping off roofs and collapsing buildings in the process. A storm may abate temporarily as it moves inland only to regain its fullfury as it hits open water again.
Torrential rains accompanying the storm swell rivers and the surgingwaters then overflow river banks, submerging the surrounding area, andisolating communities until the flood waters recede.
Rescue work begins Rescueworkers begin looking forvictims as soon as the stormsubsides enough to make it safe for them to do so.
They comb the debris for survivors, assist the injured and, if necessary, dispose of the bodies of those who perish to prevent epidemics
Emergency hospitals and temporary morgues are set up. Appeals for blood donations are made through the media.
Casualty tolls and damage estimates The first statistics concern the number of dead and injured.
In the confused aftermath of a storm, however, the first casualty tolls are usually inaccurate, and it may be days, even weeks before the true figures are known. The same is true of damage estimates.
Future consequences If there has been serious loss of life and property, people naturally turn their attention to how to prevent similar occurrences in the future.
While there is little they can do to prevent tropical storms, they can minimise their effects.
Warning systems can be improved, emergency shelters provided, flood walls built or strengthened, pumps installed, storm insurance plans introduced, and, most importantly, people can be educated on how to deal with disasters when they happen.
When a major storm hits in your area, you can expect to see stories on each stage of the sequence outlined above.
And if you follow the story over the days and weeks that it remains in the news, you will have built an excellent background for the many future stories on this subject that are bound to occur.
Here are two other common subjects in the news: disputes and the related topics and vocabulary; the vocabulary and topics concerning the environment.