General Hurricane Information
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale rates a hurricane's intensity using wind speed and storm surge, which is the
abnormal rise in sea level accompanying a hurricane or other intense storm. The scale also estimates the potential
damage and flooding expected along the coast from a hurricane landfall.
||74-95 mph (119-153 km/h)
||4-5 feet above normal
||Damage primarily to unanchored mobile
homes, shrubbery, and trees along with some coastal
road flooding and minor pier damage
||96-110 mph (154-177 km/h)
||6-8 feet above normal
||Roofing, door and window damage to
buildings; Considerable damage to shrubbery and trees,
mobile homes, poorly constructed signs, and piers
||111-130 mph (178-209 km/h)
||9-12 feet above normal
||Structural damage to small residences and
utility buildings; foliage blown off trees and large trees
blown down; mobile homes destroyed
||131-155 mph (210-249 km/h)
||13-18 feet above normal
||Extensive damage to doors, windows and
lower floors of shoreline houses; total roof failures on
small residences; shrubs, trees, and all signs blown
down; mobile homes completely destroyed
||Greater than 155 mph (249 km/h)
||generally greater than 18 feet above normal
||Complete roof failure on many buildings and
some complete building failures with small utility
buildings blown over or away; severe and extensive
window and door damage; mobile homes completely
Hurricane Communication Tips
- Ensure that your mobile phone has sufficient credit
- Always make sure that your mobile phone is fully charged
- Have a carphone charger on hand
What To Do...
Before a Hurricane Approaches
- Familiarize yourself with Hurricane terminology:
- Hurricane Watch: Hurricane conditions are possible in the specified area of the watch, usually within 36 hours.
- Hurricane Warning: Hurricane conditions are expected in the specified area of the warning, usually within 24 hours.
- Closely monitor your local radio or TV stations news for weather-related information.
- Identify ahead of time official hurricane shelters.
- Keep a family emergency kit stocked and handy. Include items like flashlights and batteries, battery-operated radio, first aid supplies, essential medications, canned food and a can opener.
- Stock up on drinking water – at least 3 gallons of water per person.
- Install hurricane shutters or purchase precut outdoor plywood boards for each window of your home.
- Install anchors for the plywood and pre-drill holes in the plywood so that you can put it up quickly.
- Make trees more wind resistant by removing diseased and damaged limbs and remove branches.
- Review your insurance policy and be sure you have sufficient coverage.
When a Hurricane WATCH is Issued
- Closely monitor your local radio and TV stations for up-to-date storm information.
- Prepare to bring inside any lawn furniture, outdoor decorations or ornaments, trash cans,
hanging plants and anything else that can be picked up by the wind.
- Prepare to cover all windows of your home. If shutters have not been installed, use plywood.
- Fill your vehicle with gas and park on high ground and disconnect battery.
When a Hurricane WARNING is Issued
- Listen to advice of local officials, and leave if they tell you to do so.
- Complete preparation activities
- If you are not advised to evacuate, stay indoors, away from windows.
During a Hurricane
- Listen constantly to your radio or television for official instructions and updates
- Follow instructions issued by local officials
- If power is lost, turn of major appliances to reduce power ‘surge’ when electricity is restored
- In the event of strong winds take refuge in small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest floor. Stay away from windows and doors
- If you happen to be outside take shelter in the nearest substantial structure or a sturdy tree and hold yourself to it.
- Be aware that the calm “eye” is deceptive; the storm is not over. The worst part of the storm will happen
once the eye passes over and the winds blow from an opposite direction.
- If the water rises move to a higher floor or hold on to something that floats such as wooden furniture or a plastic container
After the Hurricane
- Keep listening to local news for instructions and for the all clear to be announced
- Wait until an area is declared safe before entering
- Drive only if absolutely necessary
- Check gas, water and electrical lines and appliances for damage
- Do not drink or prepare food with tap water until you are certain it is not contaminated.
Information provided by Government Information Services