Hazards and Disasters


How are hurricanes ranked

Hurricanes are ranked on a scale of one to five, with category one hurricanes being the weakest and category five being the strongest and most destructive. The damage caused by each category of hurricane ranks from: 1, minimal; 2, moderate; 3, extensive; 4, extreme (such as Hurricane Andrew in 1992); to 5, catastrophic.

Hurricane Type Winds (MPH/KPH) Surge Levels
Category One 74–95 mph/119–153 kph 4–5 feet/1.2–1.5 meters
Category Two 96–110 mph/154–177 kph 6–8 feet/1.8–2.4 meters
Category Three 111–130 mph/178–209 kph 9–12 feet/2.75–2.4 meters
Category Four 131–155 mph/210–249 13–18 feet/4–5.5 meters
Category Five kph > 155 mph/> 249 kph 18 feet/> 5.5 meters


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