The intense winds of tropical storms can destroy whole communities, buildings and communication networks.
As well as their own destructive energy, the winds generate abnormally high waves and tidal surges.
Sometimes the most destructive elements of a storm are the subsequent high seas and flooding.
MEDCs are better placed to reduce the effects of tropical storms because they have more financial, educational and technological resources to help deal with them.
They better able to observe and predict storm behaviour and can invest in infrastructure to withstand storms - as well as spending more money on repairing the damage caused.
The main hazards that a hurricane can bring are: