Besides better track forecasting, the weather
guys are also better at forecasting wind
strength. A majority of hurricanes strikes are category 1 wind
speeds. You should be able to handle this with reasonable gear
and preparation. It's those category 3 and above storms that require firm clenching of the buttocks. With these monsters good luck, fate, and karma are required.
Besides going south to get to the doldrums it also increases your odds of being to the left of the track. With the counterclockwise rotation (yea - in the northern hemisphere!) the forward speed of the storm subtracts 20 or 30 knots from the wind speed on the left side. Don't ever find yourself on the north east side of a northern hemisphere hurricane