INFOGRAPHIC: How Are Hurricanes Rated?

By Katy Galimberti, Staff Writer
July 11, 2014; 5:52 AM ET
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In an effort to better inform the public about potential hurricane damage, Herbert Saffir and Bob Simpson invented their own measuring classification in 1969.

Saffir, a consulting engineer, and Simpson, the director of the National Hurricane Center at the time, create the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. Broken down into five categories, hurricanes were given a level of intensity based on sustained wind speeds.

Also included in the levels are potential property damage and flooding that should be expected with each set of wind strength.

Used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the scale can be interpreted easily by emergency managers and the public alike.

In 2010, NOAA's National Hurricane Center reorganized the scale, pulling emphasis on storm surge and atmospheric pressure and putting more focus on wind. The official title of the scale was appropriately changed to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

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