What Are the Most Dangerous Parts of a Hurricane?

With hurricane season in full swing, it’s essential to understand what makes these storms so dangerous. While most people understand that hurricanes can be lethal, many don’t completely grasp exactly what makes hurricanes so dangerous. This list of the five deadliest hurricane dangers will help you better understand what you're facing and will help you take steps to protect yourself and your loved ones during the next big storm.

Storm Surge

"Storm surges" are abnormal rises in sea level that causes ocean water to rush inland. A storm surge is the deadliest impact a hurricane can have. When a storm surge occurs, it causes the strong currents of the ocean to sweep into neighborhoods and cities. Homes, businesses, and vehicles can all be swept away by the force and speed of a storm surge. Not living directly on the beach doesn't necessarily keep you safe, either: a storm surge can travel miles inland and can reach depths of up to 20 feet.


Flooding, sometimes called inland flooding, happens when a hurricane brings significant rain to areas prone to flooding. Flooding differs from storm surges because it involves fresh water, and it can happen to inland areas far from the shore. During Hurricane Harvey, 68 people lost their lives because of inland flooding. According to the Centers for Disease Control, many deaths caused by inland flooding are a result of individuals attempting to walk or drive through hazardous flood water. The best way to avoid an accident in flood waters is to avoid entering them whenever possible.

Rip Currents

A hurricane’s dangers begin before it even reaches the shore. Rip currents can occur even if a storm is still miles away. These strong currents flow away from the shore and can be difficult for people to escape once they are caught in one. Hurricanes can cause deadly rip currents, even if they are more than 1,000 miles offshore. While the surf may be tempting for surfers, staying out of the ocean in the hours before a hurricane can save lives.


Hurricane-force winds are devastating because of their significant speed. The Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale labels hurricane winds between categories one to five. Even the weakest hurricanes have windspeeds of up to 74-95 mph. The strongest hurricane winds exceed speeds of 157 mph. These gusts destroy homes, send debris hurtling through the air at dangerous speeds, and rip large trees out of the ground. Before a storm arrives, homeowners should inspect their roofs, get rid of dead trees, and make sure that their doors and windows are secured.

Hurricane Tornadoes

Hurricanes can sometimes spawn large tornadoes. Tornadoes need three things to begin: thunderstorms, warm and moist air, and wind shear—or an abrupt change in wind direction and speed. Hurricanes provide each one of these ingredients with abundance, and the consequences are deadly. Tornadoes caused by hurricanes are completely unpredictable, and the best way to avoid them is to follow evacuation orders.

Recovery Is Possible After Hurricanes

If any of the events listed above caused damage to your home, recovery is possible. Even if your insurance company is not offering a fair settlement, you may be able to get the money you need to rebuild your home and move forward. Arnold & Itkin has fought for the recovery of billions of dollars for clients. Call us today for a free consultation of your case at (888) 493-1629. We only collect payment if we obtain results!

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