The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale is a 1 to 5 rating based on the hurricane's intensity. This scale estimates potential property damage. Hurricanes or typhoons reaching Category 3 and higher are considered MAJOR hurricanes because of their potential for loss of life and damage. Category 1 and 2 storms are still very dangerous and warrant preventative measures. In the western North Pacific, the term "Super Typhoon" is used for tropical cyclones with sustained winds exceeding 150 mph. For more information on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, go to: www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutsshs.html
- Category 1: Wind Speeds (MPH) 74 - 95: Minimal: Damage primarily to shrubbery, trees, foliage and unanchored mobile homes.No real damage to other structures. Example of Category 1: Hurricane Irene in 1999.
- Category 2: Wind Speeds (MPH) 96 - 110: Moderate: Some trees blown down.Major damage to exposed mobile homes.Some damage to roofing materials, windows and doors. Examples of Category 2: Hurricanes Georges in 1998 and Hurricane Floyd in 1999.
- Category 3: Wind Speeds (MPH) 111 - 130: Extensive: Large trees blown down.Mobile homes destroyed.Some structural damage to roofing materials of buildings.Some structural damage to small buildings. Examples ofCategory 3: Hurricane Betsy in 1965 and Hurricane Alicia in 1983.
- Category 4: Wind Speeds (MPH) 131 - 155: Extreme: Trees blown down.Complete destruction of mobile homes.Extensive damage to roofing materials, windows and doors.Complete failure of roofs on many small residences. Examples of Category 4:Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
- Category 5: Wind Speeds (MPH) >155: Catastrophic: Complete failure of roofs on many residences and industrial buildings.Extensive damage to windows and doors.Some complete building failure. Example of Category 5: Hurricane Camille in 1969.