Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale
Category One Hurricane: Winds 74-95 mph (64-82 kt or 119-153 km/hr). Storm surge
generally 4-5 ft above normal. No real damage to building structures. Damage primarily to
unanchored mobile homes, shrubbery, and trees. Some damage to poorly constructed
signs. Also, some coastal road flooding and minor pier damage.
Category Two Hurricane: Winds 96-110 mph (83-95 kt or 154-177 km/hr). Storm surge
generally 6-8 feet above normal. Some roofing material, door, and window damage of
buildings. Considerable damage to shrubbery and trees with some trees blown down.
Considerable damage to mobile homes, poorly constructed signs, and piers. Coastal and
low-lying escape routes flood 2-4 hours before arrival of the hurricane center. Small craft in
unprotected anchorages break moorings.
Category Three Hurricane: Winds 111-130 mph (96-113 kt or 178-209 km/hr). Storm surge
generally 9-12 ft above normal. Some structural damage to small residences and utility
buildings with a minor amount of curtainwall failures. Damage to shrubbery and trees with
foliage blown off trees and large trees blown down. Mobile homes and poorly constructed
signs are destroyed. Low-lying escape routes are cut by rising water 3-5 hours before
arrival of the center of the hurricane. Flooding near the coast destroys smaller structures
with larger structures damaged by battering from floating debris. Terrain continuously lower
than 5 ft above mean sea level may be flooded inland 8 miles (13 km) or more. Evacuation
of low-lying residences with several blocks of the shoreline may be required.
Category Four Hurricane: Winds 131-155 mph (114-135 kt or 210-249 km/hr). Storm surge
generally 13-18 ft above normal. More extensive curtainwall failures with some complete
roof structure failures on small residences. Shrubs, trees, and all signs are blown down.
Complete destruction of mobile homes. Extensive damage to doors and windows. Low-lying
escape routes may be cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the center of the
hurricane. Major damage to lower floors of structures near the shore. Terrain lower than 10
ft above sea level may be flooded requiring massive evacuation of residential areas as far
inland as 6 miles (10 km).
Category Five Hurricane: Winds greater than 155 mph (135 kt or 249 km/hr). Storm surge
generally greater than 18 ft above normal. Complete roof failure on many residences and
industrial buildings. Some complete building failures with small utility buildings blown over
or away. All shrubs, trees, and signs blown down. Complete destruction of mobile homes.
Severe and extensive window and door damage. Low-lying escape routes are cut by rising
water 3-5 hours before arrival of the center of the hurricane. Major damage to lower floors
of all structures located less than 15 ft above sea level and within 500 yards of the
shoreline. Massive evacuation of residential areas on low ground within 5-10 miles (8-16
km) of the shoreline may be required.