What Do Hurricane Categories Mean?
October 24, 2023
August 15, 2022
Do you know that the majority of hurricanes that make landfall in the US begin as thunderstorms off the coast of Africa? If you’re located in hurricane-prone areas, it’s best that you get hurricane windows and doors in Wellington, FL for additional protection.On rare occasions, a tropical depression—a region of low atmospheric pressure—meets a conglomeration of thunderstorms. As they take energy from the warm water below, the clouds spiral around the tropical depression, beginning to resemble the swirl of clouds that characterizes a hurricane.
Hurricane Categories and How to Prepare
What Are the Categories?
- Category 1: Severe Winds May Cause Some Damage
Wind speeds in a Category 1 hurricane are between 74 and 95 mph. Older mobile homes could be demolished and people, animals, and pets could be injured by falling debris. Protected glass windows will typically survive the hurricane without suffering significant damage. However, damage to framed houses, flats, and shopping malls is possible, and power outages due to snapped power lines are also a possibility.
- Category 2: Extremely Severe Winds May Lead to Severe Wind Damage
Well-built frame homes could suffer significant siding and roof damage. Several trees with shallow roots will be uprooted or snapped, blocking many routes. Near-total power loss is anticipated, and disruptions could linger for days or perhaps weeks.
- Category 3: Severe Damage and Destruction May Be Experienced
Wind speeds in a Category 3 hurricane can reach 111 to 129 mph. People, animals, and pets are at a significant danger of being hurt or killed by flying or falling debris. Most new mobile homes will sustain considerable damage, and nearly all older ones will be completely destroyed.The storm will likely cause significant damage to even sturdy frame homes, flats, and commercial buildings. It may also uproot many trees that may block roadways. After the hurricane, it's likely that water and electricity won't be available for a few days to a few weeks.
- Category 4: Catastrophic Damage Is a Possibility
Homes with sturdy frames can suffer serious damage, losing some or all of their outer walls and/or the majority of their roof structure. The majority of trees will be broken or uprooted, and electricity poles will fall. Residential areas may be cut off by downed trees and utility poles. Power outages may linger for weeks or even months. For several weeks or months, the majority of the area won't be habitable.
- Category 5: Catastrophic Devastation
This is the strongest hurricane category with winds of 157 mph or more. Flying debris can endanger people, animals, and pets even if you’re at home. A significant portion of framed homes as well as the majority of mobile homes could be entirely destroyed. Commercial structures with wood roofs can also sustain significant damage.
What Distinguishes a Tropical Depression from a Tropical Storm and Hurricane?
Wind speed is what distinguishes a tropical depression from a tropical storm, hurricane, and major hurricane:
- Wind speed for a tropical depression is less than 39 mph.
- Winds from a tropical storm range from 39 to 73 mph.
- Winds in a hurricane can reach speeds of up to 110 mph.
- A major hurricane is one with winds of more than 110 mph.
How Should I Prepare?
If a hurricane is predicted to hit your location, the important actions to take and things to be aware of are listed below.
- Register for emergency notifications to stay informed.
- Prepare for evacuation by knowing the evacuation routes and emergency shelter information, stocking up on petrol, selecting and notifying a contact outside the state, deciding where to meet loved ones if you become separated, and packing a "go bag" with essentials.
- Make sure you have food, water, a flashlight, clothes, shoes, protective gear, a radio, hygiene supplies, important papers, sentimental things, and pet supplies on hand in case of emergency.
- Make your home ready: Install hurricane windows and bring anything that can be tossed around by the wind inside.