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Why Are Hurricanes so Damaging?We are in the peak of hurricane season. Alabama, Louisiana, and Florida have already been hit a few times, and we’re in for a real problem with Hurricane Sally. The biggest reason that hurricanes are so damaging are the winds associated with these monster storms, but there are other hazards that make the storms damaging and life-threatening.

Sustained winds of 74 MPH or more

A storm over water that reaches sustained winds of 74 MPH or more is considered a hurricane. Hurricanes are categorized on the Saffir-Simpson Scale into five areas of strength ranging from Category 1 to Category 5. There have only been three Category 5 storms to make landfall in the United States since recordkeeping started and all three impacted states along the Gulf Coast or the southern portion of the country.

The wind from a hurricane can knock down homes, buildings, and send debris flying all over your neighborhood. It’s imperative that you remain indoors during the storm to avoid being hit by flying debris. If possible, board up your windows and doors with plywood to prevent debris from shattering the glass and entering your property.

Storm surge

Storm surge is unavoidable when a hurricane makes landfall and can be deadly if you are unable to evacuate or even move to higher ground on your property. That’s why it’s always important to heed any evacuation orders issued by the local government. Storm surge is water being pushed onto land, sometimes as much as 20 to 30 feet at a time. Storm surge is separate from flooding that occurs because of the tropical rainfall.


Hurricanes are tropical systems that can dump anywhere from a few inches to multiple feet of rain on the areas impacted, depending on how slowly the system moves. This is on top of any storm surge from area bodies of water. Flooding can occur anywhere in the area where the hurricane hits. It doesn’t have to be near a body of water for a hurricane to cause devastating flooding.


Hurricanes often spawn tornadoes when they make landfall. Oftentimes, waterspouts are observed just off the land over water as the hurricane is making its way inland. Some of these waterspouts make it to land and turn into tornadoes. Other tornadoes form over land in the most severe cells of the hurricane. This adds another layer of threat to a hurricane, especially for those who stayed behind to ride out the storm. Power outages always happen during a hurricane, which means you will have trouble receiving tornado warnings.

Why this should matter to you

There’s only one reason why you should care about why hurricanes are dangerous, and it’s a simple one: your insurance company may try to use any or all of these effects as a way to deny you coverage. If you have hurricane insurance, they’ll say it’s the flood. If you have flood insurance, they’ll blame it on the wind. If you say “I have wind insurance and I live 100 miles outside the cone!” they’ll tell you that you’re not covered for hurricanes. That is why the most important thing you can do after a storm is call an insurance dispute lawyer.

At Warhurst Law, we know every trick in the book. After all, our founder, Gene Warhurst, worked for The Hartford for years. Our team knows what to look for when it comes to your losses so we can fight to have you accurately and adequately compensated. We’ll fight back against your insurer, too, if they play fast and loose with the rules.

Hurricanes pose a series of threats that can damage your home, office, or vehicle. Trying to ride out the storm can also lead to serious injuries or even death. The Warhurst Law team understands how difficult it can be to recover from hurricane damage. Call our office at 251-207-1296 or complete a contact form to schedule a consultation. We represent clients impacted by hurricanes throughout Florida, Alabama, and Louisiana.