What is a Hurricane?

A combination of wind and rain over warm waters is what starts every hurricane. Moisture begins to evaporate and gets sucked up into the wind. As the wind intensifies and continues to hold onto more and more water a tropical depression begins to form. This is the earliest stage of a potential hurricane. Once a tropical depression forms scientists begin to monitor them with satellites and even airplane surveillance to see if they continue to develop into a potential hurricane. While a tropical depression has winds around 38 mph, which is manageable to most people, they lay the groundwork for a much more intense storm.

Hurricane Categories

Hurricanes have 5 basic categories with 1 being the weakest and 5 being the strongest. Winds can range from 74mph to 157mph or higher and of course there will be a downpour of rain with any storm. Let’s take a better look at each category rating.

Category 1 hurricanes have winds that are 74-95 mph. Most well constructed frame homes can withstand these winds, there may be some minor damage like gutters, shingles, or vinyl siding falling off. These winds can break down tree branches or shallower rooted trees so you do need to keep an eye out for those.

Category 2 hurricanes have winds that are 96-110 mph. Well framed houses can usually avoid major damage from category 2 hurricanes. But there will be a large amount of trees that are uprooted and that usually leads to blocked roads and widespread power outages.

Category 3 hurricanes have winds that are 111-129 mph. Homes will experience major damage, usually to the roof and windows. While the overall structure will most likely be safe, the odds of damage rises greatly once a hurricane reaches this level. You should expect to be without power and water for up to a week.

Category 4 hurricanes have winds that are 130-156 mph. At this stage the damage starts to get very high risk and you should highly consider evacuating the area. Exterior walls as well as your roof face major destruction and can make your home uninhabitable and unsafe if effected. Power poles will also begin to get ripped from the ground causing dangerous conditions and an extreme delay in power being restored.

Category 5 hurricanes have winds that are 157 mph or higher. These are the most devastating hurricanes and can completely destroy entire towns. A high percentage of structures will be destroyed due to roofs failing and exterior walls collapsing. At this point it is better to evacuate to make sure you are safe.

Florida is surrounded by warm water on three sides and is located close to the equator, the perfect spot for hurricanes to form and continue to gain strength. As recent as 2018  a category 5 hurricane hit the western side of Florida, Hurricane Michael. This hurricane caused an estimated $25.1 billion in damages across the US as well as claiming 74 lives between the US and Central America.

First Coast Hurricane Shutters Helps Protect You Against The Storm

The best thing you can do against a hurricane is to be prepared. This means having the correct emergency supplies, knowing your evacuation route, and making sure that your home is protected the best it can be in such a dangerous situation.

Hurricane Shutters protect your home by making sure that the dangerous winds and potential debris they pickup won’t be able to break through your windows. While a broken window can be replaced, it then opens up a higher chance for rain and water to enter your home. Water damage and flooding is the most destructive force against your home and anything you can do to stop it is a step in the right direction.