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Prepare For The Unexpected

Hurricane Categories

(Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale)

Category 1
Winds of 74-95 mph
 

  • Damage primarily to shrubbery, tree foliage and unanchored mobile homes
  • No real damage to other structures
  • Some damage to poorly constructed signs
  • Storm surge four to five feet above normal
  • Low lying coastal roads inundated
  • Minor pier damage
  • Small craft in exposed anchorages torn from moorings

Category 2
Winds of 96-110 mph

  • Considerable damage to tree foliage
  • Some trees down Major damage to exposed mobile homes
  • Extensive damage to poorly constructed signs
  • Some damage to roofing
  • Storm surge six to eight feet above normal
  • Coastal roads and low lying inland escape routes blocked by rising water two to four hours before arrival of hurricane center. Considerable damage to piers.
  • Marinas flooded
  • Small craft in unprotected anchorages torn from moorings
  • Evacuation of some shoreline residences and low lying islands required

Category 3
Winds of 111-130 mph

  • Damage primarily to shrubbery, tree foliage and unanchored mobile homes
  • No real damage to other structures
  • Some damage to poorly constructed signs
  • Storm surge four to five feet above normal
  • Low lying coastal roads inundated
  • Minor pier damage
  • Small craft in exposed anchorages torn from moorings

Category 4
Winds of 131-155 mph

  • Shrubs and trees down, all signs down
  • Extensive damage to roofing, windows and doors
  • Roof collapse
  • Complete destruction of mobile homes
  • Storm surge 13 to 18 feet above normal
  • Flat terrain 10 feet or less above sea level flooded inland as far as six miles
  • Major damage to lower floors of structure near shore due to flooding, waves and floating debris
  • Low lying water three to five hours before hurricane center arrives
  • Major erosion of beaches
  • Massive evacuation of all residences within 500 yards of shore possibly required, and of single-story residences on low ground within two miles of shore

Category 5
Winds greater than 155 mph

  • Shrubs and trees down; considerable damage to roofing; all signs down
  • Severe and extensive damage to windows and doors
  • Complete roof collapse
  • Destruction of glass in windows and doors. Some complete building failures
  • Small buildings overturned or blown away
  • Complete destruction of mobile homes
  • Storm surge higher than 18 feet above normal
  • Major damage to lower floors of all structures less than 15 feet above sea level within 500 yards of shore
  • Low lying escape routes inland cut off by rising water three to five hours before hurricane center arrives
  • Massive evacuation of residential areas on low ground within five to 10 miles of shore possibly required