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What Hurricane Categories Mean for My Business

You’ve heard meteorologists refer to a hurricane as Category 3, but what does that actually mean? Discover the difference between each hurricane category, according to the Saffir-Simpson wind scale, and how it can affect your business.

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Category 1 Hurricane: 74 - 95 MPH

  • Some damage will occur.
  • With wind speeds up to 95 MPH, a Category 1 hurricane is considered the weakest in the
  • Saffir-Simpson scale. However, its strong winds still have the power to cause some damage to properties: roof damage, structural damage, snapped tree branches, downed power lines, and shallow-rooted trees may be uprooted.
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Category 2 Hurricane: 96 - 110 MPH

Extensive damage will occur.

Though it still lies within the lower end of the scale, a Category 2 hurricane could lead to operational downtime. Businesses should prepare for major roof damage, extensive power outages, road closures, flooding, storm surge, and flying debris. Managers should also expect a shortage in staff since many roads will be impassable.

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Category 3 Hurricane: 111 - 129 MPH

Devastating damage will occur.

The first level in the “major hurricane” category will result in devastating damages to your property and requires a lot of preparation beforehand. A Category 3 hurricane often leads to large uprooted trees, completely destroyed roofs, and vast power outages lasting days to weeks. It is best for you and your team to stay home and stock up on emergency supplies.

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Category 4 Hurricane: 130 - 156 MPH

Extreme damage will occur

If a Category 4 hurricane is headed toward your location, prepare for catastrophic damages. Storms of this magnitude have a reputation for being deadly, costly, and making areas uninhabitable for long periods. Category 4 risks include displacement of entire roofs, collapsed walls, catastrophic flooding, and widespread power outages lasting months.

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Category 5 Hurricane: 157+ MPH

Catastrophic damage will occur

The highest, most dangerous is a Category 5 hurricane. With wind speeds surpassing 157 MPH, these hurricanes have the power to completely destroy homes and commercial properties, no matter how well they’re built. Businesses on the coast are especially at risk of completely losing their property to a storm surge.

Having a well-established Business Continuity Plan can help you prepare for a worst-case scenario and guides you through the recovery process. In addition to a BCP, you can count on Cotton Global Disaster Solutions’ turnkey solutions to help rebuild and recover your business with minimal downtime following a hurricane.