The Dangers of Storm Surge

The dangers of storm surge. It can be difficult to know when a storm will turn into something more dangerous. Recognizing signs will help you be more prepared in the event of a Hurricane.

According to the national Weather Service, a storm surge is the biggest threat to life and property from a hurricane.  It causes water to rise to a significantly high level.

If there is a forecast for a storm surge

  1. Create an emergency kit with medications, flashlight, batteries etc..
  2. If you need to evacuate, keep the emergency kit available and easy to grab.
  3. Keep basement windows closed
  4. Always keep your car gas tank full in case of evacuation.

A storm surge is very dangerous in coastal regions.  Intense storms such as typhoons and hurricanes cause the sea level to rise and push into shore.  They can cause severe flooding.

Some ways to protect your home during a storm surge:

  1. Check the area where you live for the risks if there is a hurricane
  2. Be prepared to protect windows and doors
  3. You will need to put objects that can fly around in a safe place
  4. You will want to reinforce your roof
  5. Look into storm proof garage doors
  6. Ensure the crawl space and basement are protected

A storm surge warning will notify life threatening danger from rising water moving inland.  The warning is generally within 36 hours and associated with a tropical, subtropical, or post-tropical storm.  Storm surges can be unpredictable, which increases the danger during a hurricane. Storm surges are dangerous because they start building up before the hurricane makes landfall. It can increase flooding and make evacuating very difficult, and once the hurricane hits the impact will be much worse.  

Thinking about this ahead of time and having a plan in place will help you be more prepared.  Your chances of evacuating and staying safe will increase with preparation and you can better handle an emergency situation that involves a storm surge.  You can increase the safety of your family and home.

Hurricane Categories:

Category 1 storms are between 74-95 mph.  They can be dangerous and will cause some damage.  Some things to watch for in a category 1 storm are damage to roof, siding, gutters, trees, power lines and poles that may cause some power outages.  

Category 2 storms are between 96-110 mph.  The winds from a category 2 storm will cause damage and are considered very dangerous.  The damage caused by a category 2 storm will be roof damage, siding damage, trees uprooted causing roadblocks, almost total power loss resulting in no power for several days to weeks.  

Category 3 storms are between 111-129 mph.  Category 3 hurricanes will cause devastating damage.  Well built homes may have major damage, removal of decks, and gables.  Trees will be uprooted and snapped causing roadblocks. There will not be water or electricity available for days to weeks after the storm.  

Category 4 storms are between 130-156 mph.  Category 4 storms will cause catastrophic damage.  Well built homes will most likely lose their roof, structural damage, trees uprooted and power lines will be down.  Residential areas will most likely be isolated from the downed trees and power lines. Power outages will most likely last for weeks and months.  The area will not be livable.

Category 5 storms are 157 mph or higher.  Category 5 storms will cause catastrophic damage.  Almost all well built homes will be destroyed, resulting in total roof failure and wall collapse.  Fallen trees and power lines will make it so residential areas are isolated and not habitable. There will be power outages for weeks and most likely months.

Watch the Weather Channel video below for more information.