Are You Ready?

Hudson Water Works would like to help you prepare for the hurricane
season by offering the following tips and information:

Downloadable/Printable version

Hurricane Wind Scale

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 rating based on a hurricane’s sustained wind speed. This scale estimates potential property damage.
Hurricanes reaching Category 3 and higher are considered major hurricanes because of their potential for significant loss of life and damage. Category 1 and 2 storms are still dangerous, however, and require preventative measures. In the western North Pacific, the term “super typhoon” is used for tropical cyclones with sustained winds exceeding 150 mph.



Types of Damage Due to Hurricane Winds


64-82 kt
119-153 km/h

Very dangerous winds will produce some damage:
Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.


83-95 kt
154-177 km/h

Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage:
Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.


96-112 kt
178-208 km/h

Devastating damage will occur: Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to
weeks after the storm passes.


113-136 kt
209-251 km/h

Catastrophic damage will occur: Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.


mph or higher
137 kt or higher
252 km/h or higher

Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas.
Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

Storm Terminology:

Advisory: Bulletins from the National Hurricane Center, which are issued at the following
times: 5 a.m., 11 a.m., 5 p.m., and 11 p.m. When there are watches or
warnings, then intermediate advisories are issued at 2 a.m., 8 a.m.,
2 p.m., 8 p.m.

Cone of Uncertainty: The cone is not a forecast. The cone is a graphical representation of historical error at various time periods. The cone will have the exact same width for every storm during a hurricane season as it isn’t based on a forecast.

Eye: The circular area of comparatively light winds that encompasses the center of a severe tropical cyclone.
The eye is either completely or partially surrounded by the eye-wall.

Eye-wall: An organized band or ring of very high winds and heavy rain that surround the eye of a hurricane. This is the most dangerous part of the hurricane with the highest winds.

Hurricane: A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface winds are 74 mph or more.

Hurricane Season: The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30 with a peak around Sept 14.

Hurricane Warning: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

Hurricane Watch: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within the specified area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

Major Hurricane: A hurricane that is classified as Category 3 or higher.

Rapid Intensification: An increase in the maximum sustained winds of a tropical storm or hurricane of at least 30 kt in a 24-hr period.

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale: The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale is a 1 to 5 categorization based on the hurricane’s intensity

Storm Surge: An abnormal rise in water accompanying a hurricane or other intense storm. Storm surge has nothing to do with rainfall. This is the most dangerous part of a hurricane. Historically, most fatalities are
caused by surge.

Tropical Depression: A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed is 38 mph or less.

Tropical Storm: A tropical cyclone in which the maximum sustained surface wind speed ranges from 39 to 73 mph.

Tropical Storm Warning: Tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected 36 hours.

Tropical Storm Watch: Tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within 48 hours.

Tropical Wave: An open wave in the deep tropics that does not yet have a closed circulation. Some gusty winds and increased shower chances typically accompany tropical waves.

Before the storm:

Develop a disaster plan ahead of time:

  • Know your evacuation zone or flood zone.
  • Pick 2 meeting places: one outside the home for emergencies such as fire and one outside of your neighborhood in case you can’t get home.
  • Choose a contact person outside of the area to handle communications if the family gets separated. Every family member should call this person to let them know their location to help reunite missing family
    members. This contact person should also have copies of all important documents and phone numbers in case you are unable to get back to your home.

Prepare a Hurricane Kit:

  • Food:
    non-perishable foods, canned foods, bottled juice, dry pet foods, baby foods, and water (1 gallon/person/day). Have at least 3-7 days of above items.
  • Personal:
    Medic-alert tags, insect repellent sprays, soap, sunscreen, feminine hygiene items, first aid kit, bandages, adhesive tape, prescription medications, over the counter medications, children’s medications, pet medications, antiseptic solution, thermometer, tweezers and hand sanitizer.
  • Other items:
    Flashlight & extra bulbs, battery –operated radio, lanterns, extra batteries of various sizes, matches, duct tape, rain gear, fire extinguisher, clean clothes, blankets, pillows, manual can opener, plastic garbage bags of various sizes, wind up clock, heavy gloves, sleeping bags, 5 gallon buckets with tight fitting lids, household chlorine bleach (pure, unscented, liquid), deodorizer and water purification tablets

Prepare your house and vehicle:

  • Remove or secure outdoor items.
  • Trim dead branches from trees and remove all debris.
  • Board up windows.
  • Make sure you have extra cash on hand.
  • Move furniture away from all windows.
  • Keep
    all important documents in a waterproof container.
  • Sterilize all bathtubs, jugs, bottles and other containers for water storage.
  • Freeze water in plastic jugs.
  • Clean out refrigerator before the storm hits incase power is lost.
  • Clear sediment from hot water tank by flushing tank so you can use it for a water source. (Before storm, shut power of to hot water heater, turn off inlet valve, open drain valve at bottom and allow the sediment to drain out. Once water runs clear, close drain and turn on inlet valve to refill water tank. Turn power back on once it is
  • Fill up all gas tanks and extra containers.
  • Have a tire repair kit in all vehicles.
  • Keep a flashlight or glow sticks in your vehicle.
  • Keep blankets and energy bars in your vehicle.
  • Check all fluids and tire pressure before the storm hits.
  • Have vehicles packed and ready before the storm hits in case of
  • Turn power and /or gas off before leaving your home.

If you plan to go to a shelter:

  • If you have special needs (oxygen, etc) you should go to a special needs shelter only. They can provide medical monitoring only; they DO NOT provide hands-on medical care. Take a caregiver with you if needed.
  • Only service animals are allowed in shelters.
  • Make sure you eat before going to a shelter. A meal may not be available for the first 24 hours. Bring snacks.
  • Bring your identification, important papers and any medications in their original containers.
  • Bring baby supplies.
  • Bring blankets, sleeping bags, pillows and change of clothing. These may not be provided at the shelter or maybe in limited supply.
  • Bring cards, games, books and toys to help pass the time and entertain the children.
  • Bring battery operated radio and/or TV, flashlights and extra batteries for all.
  • Please follow directions that are given to you for your safety and comfort and for those around you.
  • Remember to stay inside until the “all clear” has been given.

During the Storm:

  • Stay indoors and away from windows, skylights and glass doors.
  • Find a safe area in your home (closet, bathroom, or interior room on the lower level).
  • Turn off electricity at the main breaker if flood waters threaten.
  • Turn off major appliances like air conditioners and water heaters to reduce damage if you should lose power.
  • DO NOT use electrical appliances, including your computer.
  • DO NOT go outside. If the eye is passing over remember that you have only made it through half the storm. The winds will pick up quickly and come from the opposite direction. You can easily get hit with flying debris.
  • Be careful of lightning. Do not use electrical equipment, phones or take a shower or bath during a storm.

After the Storm:

  • Remain indoors until the “all clear” is given. After a storm is a very dangerous and more people are hurt or killed during this time.
  • DO NOT touch fallen or low-hanging wires of any kind. Stay away from any puddles where lines have fallen in or are laying near it. DO NOT touch trees or other objects that have contact with power lines.
  • USE PHONES ONLY FOR EMERGENCIES! Call 911 only for life threatening situations. Remember, you are not the only one affected by the storm.
  • Immediately report hazards such as downed power lines, broken gas or water mains, over turned gas tanks, etc to the proper utility companies or the police.
  • Be careful of weakened roads, bridges, tree limbs or porches that may collapse unexpectedly.
  • DO NOT drive through standing or rushing water.
  • Check any refrigerated food for spoilage when power has been restored.
  • Watch for power lines when reinstalling antennas or clear debris from trees.
  • DO NOT operate charcoal grills, propane camping stoves or generators indoors.
  • Remember to boil your water before drinking. (Follow the guidelines for precautionary boil water notice on this website).

Remember, the better prepared you are, the better chance of surviving the storm.

The Board Members and the staff at Hudson Water Works hope you stay safe during this storm season.

Downloadable/Printable version