Hurricane season is here. There are some important things to know about them. One of the best sources of information is the National Hurricane Center of NOAA: www.nhc.noaa.gov. Much of the information in this newsletter is from the NHC.
A generic term for a low pressure system that usually forms in the tropics is a tropical cyclone. Cyclones are often accompanied with wind bursts and thunderstorms. They rotate counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. The systems are classified as a depressions, storms or hurricanes depending on their sustained wind strength.
Wind Speed (mph)
38 or less
39 to 73
74 or more
Hurricanes, the most severe of the cyclones, is divided into five categories again depending on wind speed.
Wind Speed (mph)
Storm Surge (ft)
74 to 95
4 to 5
96 to 110
6 to 8
111 to 130
9 to 12
131 to 155
13 to 18
156 and higher
19 and over
The following link gives a dramatic picture of the damage a storm can cause.
Ana Bill Claudette Danny Erika Fred Grace Henri Ida Joaquin Kate Larry Mindy Nicholas Odette Peter Rose Sam Teresa Victor Wanda
What is the best thing you can do if a hurricane strike is imminent?Evacuate!
Even if you are in a Willis Sinclair Homes or Ponds & Sons built home, there are many things to consider.
The chances are very good that your house will survive if we built it. However, there may be damage – maybe even major damage.
Wind borne debris can cause considerable damage in a storm. In heavily wooded areas such as many of the South Carolina Lowcountry areas where we build, limbs will be flying around.
Consider what a 20 foot long 4” or 6” limb with sails (leaves) on it would do in a 130 mph wind if it hits you or your house.
Another consideration is that in all likelihood, the power will go off. For most people, that means no water (if you have a well), no toilet, no shower, no lights, no air conditioning, no cooking, no refrigerator, no gasoline (gas pumps are electric), no refrigerated or frozen food at the store, etc.
In low lying areas like much of the Lowcountry, rising water can also be a very real danger. During the storm if a surge reaches your house, no one will be able to get you out until the storm passes.
If you do decide to stay, be sure you stock up on essentials and plan on the power being out for a week or so.
A Partial List of Hurricane Supplies
Allow 7 gallons per person.
Enough for 7 days. Don’t forget a non-electric can opener. Remember dehydrated food requires water. You may not have cooking facilities.
Blankets, pillows, rain gear, good shoes.
First aid supplies, medicines, toiletry items, feminine supplies.
Batteries, flashlight, battery or wind up radio, weather radio.
Extra cell phone batteries, corded land line phone.
ATMs will likely be down or empty. Credit card machines may not work.
Keys and important documents. Store in plastic bags.
Fill vehicle fuel tanks.
Food, medicine, supplies.
Pliers, wire cutters, screw drivers, wrenches, hammers, non-electric saws, etc.
Special items for babies, the medically dependent.
Riding out a hurricane is risky. People die every year trying to do it. Don’t take unnecessary chances.
What does Willis Sinclair Homes do to make sure our homes will stand up to storms?
We start at the foundation. Our foundations are massive. It is not uncommon for a foundation on a house we build to weigh 150 tons or well over a quarter of a million pounds! (A fully loaded army tank weighs about 50 tons for comparison.)
This massive foundation is typically tied to the top plate (the top of the walls) with dozens – often over 100 – 1/2” threaded rods. Each rod has a tensile strength of well over 10,000 pounds (5 tons). It would take over 1,000,000 pounds of pull to break 100 rods.
The roof is tied to the walls with many (sometimes a couple of hundred) straps. The chances of a Willis Sinclair Homes home moving is not very great. It may get damaged by wind borne debris, but the home is not likely to move off its foundation.
Other builders tie houses down also, but sometimes cutting costs controls how well a house is tied down. At Willis Sinclair Homes, we do not cut any corners, especially on structural components or tie down hardware.
Call us. We for even more details on how we build our houses to withstand all of the bad elements of nature, including hurricanes.
Willis Sinclair Homes, where ‘Built Right’ is the only ‘good enough’ we understand.