Hurricane Information

Hurricanes can be dangerous killers. Learning the hurricane warning messages and planning ahead can reduce the chances of injury or major property damage.

HOW A STORM BECOMES A HURRICANE

Disturbance > Depression > Tropical Storm > Hurricane

Tropical Disturbance:

A cluster of thunderstorms that are poorly organized.

Tropical Depression:

A cluster of thunderstorms that become organized around a central circulation with surface winds of 38 mph or less.

Tropical Storm:

A cluster of storms with substantial circular rotation and sustained surface winds of 39-73 mph. The storm is named at this point.

Hurricane:

A large tropical storm with winds of 74 mph or greater rotating in a counterclockwise direction. In addition to delivering intense winds, hurricanes are accompanied by heavy rains, storm surge, flooding along the coast and inland, and tornadoes.

HURRICANE WIND SPEEDS

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale

Category 1:  Sustained winds 74-95 mph

Category 2:  Sustained winds 96-110 mph

Category 3:  Sustained winds 111-130 mph

Category 4:  Sustained winds 131-155 mph

Category 5:  Sustained winds 156 mph or greater

HURRICANE WATCHES AND WARNINGS

A “hurricane watch” is issued when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours. A “hurricane warning” is issued when hurricane conditions (winds of 74 mph or greater, or dangerously high water and rough seas) are expected in 24 hours or less.

BEFORE A HURRICANE

DURING A HURRICANE

Hurricane Watch

Hurricane Warning

AFTER A HURRICANE

INSPECTING UTILITIES IN A DAMAGED HOME

Electricity:

Gas:

Sewer & Water Lines:

MITIGATION

Mitigation includes any activities that may prevent an emergency, reduce the chance of an emergency happening or lessen the damaging effects of unavoidable emergencies. Investing in preventative steps now, such as strengthening unreinforced masonry to withstand wind and flooding and installing shutters on every window, will help reduce the impact of hurricanes on your home in the future. For more information on mitigation, contact your local emergency management office.
Detailed, printable information on hurricane safety and preparedness