Am I at risk?

Slightly more than 220,000 people, or approximately 15 % of Long Island’s 1.5 million residents, live in an area which is identified as a flood zone in a worst case hurricane (a Category 4 storm heading in a northeast direction up the Atlantic Coastline).

Do you know if you and your family are included in one of these “at-risk” areas?

Hurricanes are classified by a widely accepted rating system known as the SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE SCALE (SSHS). The ratings are largely dependent upon the strength of winds and are defined as follows:

SSHS No.(Category) Sustained Winds (MPH) Damage Storm Surge
1 74-95 Minimal: Unanchored mobile homes, vegetation and signs 4-5 feet
2 96-110 Moderate: All mobile homes, roofs, small crafts, flooding 6-8 feet
3 111-130 Extensive: Small buildings, low-lying roads cut off 6-12 feet
4 131-155 Extreme: Roofs destroyed, trees down, roads cut off, mobile homes destroyed, beach homes flooded 13-18 feet
5 More than 155 Catastrophic: Most buildings destroyed, vegetation destroyed, major roads cut off, homes flooded Greater than 18 feet

The effects of a hurricane on a coastline are also very dependent upon the timing of the tide cycles – a storm striking at high tide can be expected to cause greater flooding than a storm striking at low tide.

Suffolk County has mapped the expected flood zones for Category 1 – 4 Hurricanes on interactive website maps which also identify the name and location of Emergency Shelters for the flooded areas. In order to determine whether you reside in a storm flood zone, please use the link provided in the resource section below.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently revised the Flood Insurance Rate Maps. This revision may have affected your home or the area in which you live. Flood insurance is mandatory if you live in a high-risk area and have a mortgage from a federally regulated or insured lender. The maps defining these areas are available for viewing at the FEMA website. Please use the link provided in the resource section below.

There is additional information about flooding, flood risks, insurance coverage and other important information at the National Flood Insurance Program’s website.

Please take the time to visit these websites – being informed and educated is one of the primary defenses against losses.

RESOURCES

Suffolk County Flood Zones & Shelters Map

FEMA Flood maps - www.fema.gov

Insurance information - www.floodsmart.gov