Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services


Find us on Facebook

Contact Us

Joseph F. Williams
COMMISSIONER

John G. Jordan Sr.
DEPUTY COMMISSIONER

Edward C. Schneyer
Director of the Office of Emergency Management
 
PO BOX 127
YAPHANK, NY
11980-0127
MAIN 631-852-4900
FAX 631-852-4922
SCDFRES@SuffolkCountyny.gov

Hurricane Hazards: High Winds

Graphic of Hurricane Wind Scale - go to Hurricane Preparedness Video on High Winds
Click on the image above to view the National Hurricane Center video on Hurricane Winds
Additional Hurricane Hazards and Preparedness Topics


High Winds


Tropical storm-force winds are strong enough to be dangerous to those caught in them. For this reason, emergency managers plan on having their evacuations complete and their personnel sheltered before the onset of tropical storm-force winds, not hurricane-force winds.

 

Hurricane force winds, 74 mph or more, can destroy buildings and mobile homes. Debris, such as signs, roofing material, siding and small items left outside become flying missiles during hurricanes. Winds can stay above hurricane strength well inland. In 2004, Hurricane Charley made landfall at Punta Gorda on the southwest Florida coast and produced major damage well inland across central Florida with gusts of more than 100 mph.

Atlantic and Eastern Pacific hurricanes are classified into five categories according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which estimates potential property damage according to the hurricane's sustained wind speed.

Learn how to protect your home from High Winds.

Rip Currents

The strong winds of a tropical cyclone can cause dangerous waves that pose a significant hazard to mariners and coastal residents and visitors. When the waves break along the coast, they can produce deadly rip currents - even at large distances from the storm.

Rip currents are channeled currents of water flowing away from shore, usually extending past the line of breaking waves, that can pull even the strongest swimmers away from shore.

In 2008, despite the fact that Hurricane Bertha was more than a 1,000 miles offshore, the storm resulted in rip currents that killed three people along the New Jersey coast and required 1,500 lifeguard rescues in Ocean City, Maryland, over a 1 week period.

In 2009, all six deaths in the United States directly attributable to tropical cyclones occurred as the result of drowning from large waves or strong rip currents.

Find out more about Rip Currents on the NWS Rip Current Safety Page.

Tornadoes

Picture of a home damaged by Tornado Frances, Sumter County, SC Hurricanes and tropical storms can also produce tornadoes. These tornadoes most often occur in thunderstorms embedded in rain bands well away from the center of the hurricane; however, they can also occur near the eyewall. Usually, tornadoes produced by tropical cyclones are relatively weak and short-lived, but they still pose a significant threat.

Learn How to Be Prepared for Tornadoes.

 

Frances tornado damage, Sumter County, SC
- September 2004/Marvin Mauman, FEMA   

 

Content provided by the National Weather Service  




Additional Hurricane Preparedness Topics