Hurricanes mostly affect people through the damage they cause. They can completely wipe out homes, schools, hospitals, government administration buildings, and infrastructure such as phone lines, energy, water systems and roads.
Hurricane winds can do a lot of the damage, but storm surges, waves, river floods and rain can also cause a lot of destruction. The total damage depends on a number of factors, such as the size of the storm, its intensity and the angle of approach.
Falling buildings can cause injury or death, but many hurricane impacts take place after the storm is over. Damaged or destroyed infrastructure can have negative economic effects on a community, which often last for years after the storm has passed.