If you live in Florida, you are familiar with hurricanes and how they can range from mild to disastrous. In 1970, engineer Herbert Saffir and meteorologist Robert Sympson created the Saffir-Sympson scale to measure hurricane winds in order to understand the potential damages. Let’s take a look at what the scale means:
Category 1 - Wind speed: 74-95 mph:
These usually don’t cause significant structural damage, but beware of falling debris that could injure people or companion animals. Snapped power lines can result in power outages and older mobile homes could be destroyed.
Category 2 - Wind speed: 96-110mph:
Expect possible injury from flying debris if you are outside, while mobile homes will experience devastating damage. Category 2 hurricane winds can also cause damage to residential roofs, windows, and doors. Also, there could be near total power loss that could last days or even weeks.
Category 3 - Wind speed: 111-129mph:
As in a category 2, there is a high risk of injury from flying debris and nearly all mobile homes are destroyed or significantly damaged. Well-built homes, apartments, and other buildings will experience major damage and electricity could be widely unavailable.
Category 4 - Wind speed: 130-156mph:
Severe roof damage in well-built homes as well as window damages on high-rise buildings. Power outages could extend for weeks or months and water shortages are widespread in addition to damages that occur with a category 3.
Category 5 - Wind speeds: 157 mph or higher:
Damages from a category 5 hurricane are usually long-term and these include power and water shortages as well as destruction of many homes and metal buildings. Flying debris and trees uprooted are common. This was Hurricane Andrew in 1992 - it took years for Homestead to recover.
So, what can you do to protect your home against a big storm? Invest in impact doors and windows to avoid major property damages as well as increasing your home value. Most hurricanes that make it to Florida range from a category 1 to 3; therefore, this one-time investment can save you money and keep you and your family safe.