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.
FEMA Flood maps - www.fema.gov
Insurance information - www.floodsmart.gov