Energy Safety

Hurricane Safety

Hurricanes start out as a region of thunderstorms called easterly waves and grow into tropical depressions, then to tropical storms and if conditions are extremely favorable to development, to hurricanes. Our hurricane season starts June 1 and ends November 30 each year.

Hurricanes are classified according to the Saffir-Simpson scale shown below. One should note that the power of wind increases as the cube of the wind speed so that a doubling of wind speed causes an 8-fold increase in wind power! Therefore, a category 5 hurricane’s wind is at least 8 times more powerful than a minimal category 1 hurricane.

Saffir-Simpson Scale for Hurricane Classification

Strength

Wind Speed (mph)

Pressure (millibars)

Pressure (inches Hg)

Storm Surge (ft)

Category 1

         74 – 95

            >980

          >28.94

        4 – 5

Category 2

         96 – 110

         965 – 979

      28.50 – 28.91

        6 – 8

Category 3

       111 – 129

         945 – 964

      27.91 – 28.47

        9 – 12

Category 4

       130 – 156

         920 – 944

      27.17 – 27.88

      13 – 18

Category 5

          >156

            <919

          <27.16

        >18

Tropical Cyclone Classification

Tropical Depression

23 – 39 mph

Tropical Storm

40 – 73 mph

Hurricane

74+ mph

Make These Preparations For a Hurricane:

  • Make a family Emergency Kit.
  • Listen to the radio or watch TV for latest information
  • Remember, most hurricane damage in inland areas is done by tornadoes and heavy rainfall.

For more information about Hurricanes, what causes them, etc, please visit The National Hurricane Survival Initiative.