The Tampa Bay area has had a history of being protected from the most dangerous hurricane force winds; however, all of that changed in the fall of 2017 when Hurricane Irma came crashing toward the Florida Gulf Coast as a category 4, moving directly toward Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Pasco counties. This was the most dangerous storm to come out of the Atlantic in history and Irma caused widespread damage as she moved north thru Florida.
Our contractors have assisted many of those affected by Hurricane Charlie, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ike, Hurricane Irma, and more. We never know when nature’s fury will come our way. We don’t just need to FEEL safe. We need to STAY safe.
We’ve compiled some helpful resources to prepare you for the hurricane season.
Do You Know the Hurricane Categories?
The Saffir-Simpson Scale is the standard scale for rating the severity of a hurricane as measured by the damage it causes. It classifies hurricanes on a hierarchy:
Sustained Winds: 74–95 mph
Category 1 storms usually cause no significant structural damage to well-constructed permanent structures, but in cases of mobile homes or temporary structures more care should be considered. It would also have the ability to uproot or snap trees that have weak root systems or are unhealthy. Coastal flooding is associated with Category 1 storms. Power outages are typically widespread to extensive, sometimes lasting several days. Even though it is the least intense type of hurricane, this storm can still produce widespread damage.
Sustained Winds: 96–110 mph
Category 2 storms intensify and can cause roof damage and inflict affect poorly constructed doors and windows. Signs and piers can are more susceptible to damage and many trees are uprooted or snapped. Mobile and manufactured homes are at risk for structural damage. Small watercraft may break their moorings. Power outages and scattered loss of potable water are likely, possibly lasting many days.
Sustained Winds:111–129 mph
Category 3 and higher are described as major hurricanes. These storms can cause some structural damage. Buildings that lack a solid foundation are often destroyed, and gable-end roofs tend to peel off. Manufactured homes usually sustain severe and irreparable damage. Flooding near the coast destroys smaller structures, while larger structures may be struck by floating debris. A large number of trees are uprooted or snapped, isolating some areas. Additionally, inland terrain may flood. Power loss is likely and water may be lost or contaminated.
Sustained Winds:130–156 mph
Category 4 hurricanes tend to produce heavy, irreparable damage. Obviously vulnerable structures include gas station canopies and other overhang type configurations. Mobile and manufactured homes are often flattened. Most trees, except for the heartiest, are uprooted, bent, or snapped, which causes isolation in many areas. These storms cause extensive beach erosion and inland terrain will be flooded. Total and long-lived electrical and water losses are to be expected, possibly for weeks.
Sustained Winds: >156 mph
Category 5 is the highest category of the Saffir–Simpson scale. These storms cause complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings and some complete building failures with small utility buildings blown over or away. The collapse of many wide-span roofs and walls, especially those with no interior supports, is common. Very heavy and irreparable damage to wood frame structures and total destruction to mobile/manufactured homes is prevalent. Only a few types of structures are capable of surviving intact, and only if located at least 3 to 5 miles inland. They include office buildings, condominium and apartment buildings, and hotels. These types of structures are typically made of solid concrete or steel frame construction. Err on the side of caution concerning public multi-story concrete parking garages. The absolute destruction of a structure is fairly certain.
When Should You Evacuate?
Tune into the local meteorologists and your county officials. There is an evacuation plan that you should follow. It’s important that you allow people in imminent danger the opportunity to evacuate first. We can’t tell you when or if you should decide to leave your home, but we can tell you that we care about your safety. Be prepared. Download our Emergency Supply List and don’t wait until the last minute. If Hurricane Irma taught us anything, a pending hurricane can create an apocalyptic-like atmosphere. Plan for empty grocery shelves, shortages on gas and bottled water, and an excessive demand for tarps, wood, and other items to secure your property.
How Soon After the Storm Should You Call Us?
The faster the better! We have 24/7 Emergency Services available. If you have access to your internet or your phone, please let us help you assess your damages and give you a roadmap to getting your property back to better than it was before. The last thing you need during an emergency is more stress. We are here to help you.