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Hurricane Categories, Explained

It doesn’t matter if a storm is on its way or not, being educated about the different types of hurricanes is always a good idea. Watching the local news and seeing all of the threats blooming out at sea, it’s important to be knowledgeable about the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which assigns a number to every storm that reaches hurricane status. This number will help you prepare for the level of damage that is expected to occur, thus helping to keep you and your family as safe as possible. The most crucial factor that you’ll need to remember, when a storm is on its way, is that safety is your number one priority, and if it is advised that you evacuate the area, do so as soon as possible. So, when it comes to the level of destruction each hurricane category carries with it, here are the hurricane categories, explained.

Category 1: Dangerous Winds & Heavy Rainfall

Untitled design (30)-3The first category is the mildest of them all, with wind speeds of between 74-95 mph. Although Category 1 hurricanes are the least devastating out of the bunch, you’ll still find damage, like downed tree limbs, damage to roofing shingles and other debris surrounding you. You’ll most likely have to deal with power outages as well, so it’s important to be prepared, even if a storm is only expected to be mild.

Category 2: Highly Dangerous Winds & Substantial Damage

Category 2 storms reach wind speeds of between 96-110 mph, which as you can imagine, will produce significant damage to the areas affected. From major roof damage to uprooted trees and light poles, you can expect the level of devastation to be much worse than Category 1 storms.

Category 3: High Level of Devastating Damage

Category 3 storms will have wind speeds of between 111-129 mph, which means a much higher level of destruction than Category 1 and 2 storms. Various structures may succumb to the raging winds and flying debris, trees may be uprooted, and electricity and water will not be available for up to weeks until workers are able to fix the issues.

Category 4: Catastrophic Damage

When a storm reaches Category 4 status, you can expect wind speeds of between 130-156 mph, causing complete destruction of buildings, severe roof damage or even roof lift-off in certain circumstances. Power outages may last longer as well, as crews will be working around the clock to fixed downed wires. Curfews may also be in place to ensure the safety of all residents.

Category 5: Catastrophic Devastation

The most powerful hurricane, a Cat 5, is relentless and can reach wind speeds of 157 mph or higher. Many entire structures will be destroyed, while trees, light poles and other debris will litter the area. In this instance, mandatory evacuations will occur to help keep residents safe.

What You Can Do to Prepare

When a hurricane is on its way, you will need to ensure that you’re as prepared as possible. This means the following:

  • Deploying your hurricane protection
  • Having your hurricane kit ready
  • Filling up your cars with gas and getting extra gas for generators
  • Knowing your evacuation route
  • Staying updated via the local news

Being prepared and knowledgeable about the different types of hurricanes will help you get through a storm. Remember, proper hurricane protection will be crucial in the overall safety of your home, so be sure that you’re trusting in the best when it comes to the security of your home during a storm.


Topics: hurricane shutters, hurricane preparedness, Hurricane Season 2022

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