Hurricane Preparedness Week sponsored by the NOAA National Weather Service begins this week, and BCSP wants to help you be prepared for a potential hurricane this year.
Don’t wait until it’s too late! Now is the time to determine your personal hurricane risk, determine if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone, and check or update insurance policies. The National Weather Service has all the information you will need to prepare for hurricane season at weather.gov/wrn/hurricane-preparedness. Included on this site is forecast information, prep information, public shelter listings, general hurricane safety tips and videos, and much more!
If you’re a worker that may be affected by a hurricane, it’s also important to know your rights! OSHA has prepared a Hurricane eMatrix, a hazard exposure and risk assessment tool for hurricane response and recovery, to aid in ensuring workers are able to perform their duties safely in the event of a hurricane.
You have rights, be sure you know them!
Understanding Hurricane Warnings
Hurricanes fall within categories ranked from 1-5. Here is a brief description of each level beginning with the least severe.
Category 1: Sustained winds between 74-95 mph. Winds will produce some damage. Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof, shingles, siding and gutters, large branches of trees may fall, and shallowly rooted tress may topple, and extensive damage to power lines resulting in power outages may occur.
Category 2: Sustained winds between 96-110 mph. Winds will cause extensive damage. Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage, shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted, and near-total power loss is expected.
Category 3 (major): Sustained winds between 111-129 mph. Winds will cause devastating damage. Well-constructed frame homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after storm has passed.
Category 4 (major): Sustained winds between 130-156. Winds will cause catastrophic damage. Well-built frame homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months; most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.
Category 5 (major): Sustained winds of 157+ mph. Catastrophic damage will occur. A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.