Coastal Engineering - Amphibious Housing

Hurricane Background

Credits: Google Images
According to the NOAA, the average Atlantic hurricane season has 11 named [tropical] storms three to six hurricanes, including two major hurricanes. A major hurricane is defined as a category three or above on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. The Saffir Simpson Scale is used to place hurricanes into different intensity categories; however, the scale is only based off of wind-speed.  The height of storm surges is dependent on the angle at which the storm hits the coastline; and this is what determines the amount of flooding. Typically in a hurricane the flooding is what causes the majority of the damages; therefore while the wind classifies the category level, this is not necessarily representative of the damages that may occur.   
Saffir-Simpson Scale: On average, the damages per category rise by a factor of four for each increase in hurricane level. 

Category 1: 74 – 95 mph (119 – 153 km/h)
At this category level, some structural damage can occur, mostly to unanchored mobile homes. Poorly constructed signs, etc. may become dislodged and become projectiles. 
- Hurricane Gaston (2004, 75 mph)
- Hurricane Cindy (2005, 75 mph)

Category 2: 96 – 110 mph (154 – 177 km/h)
Some roofing materials may be dislodged; windows and doors may also become dislodged. 
- Hurricane Erin (1995, 100 mph)
- Hurricane Isabel (2003, 105 mph)

Category 3: 111 – 130 mph ( 178 – 209 km/h)
Structural damage to poorly constructed houses can occur, there may be minor wall failures. 
- Hurricane Jeanne (2004, 120 mph)
- Hurricane Rita (115 mph)

Category 4: 131 – 155 mph ( 210 – 249 km/h)
Poorly constructed walls and roofs will fail. Depending on debris and projectiles, fully functioning structures may also fail.  
- Hurricane Hugo (1989, 140 mph)
- Hurricane Charley (2004, 145 mph)

Category 5: Greater than 155 mph (249 km/h) 
Complete structural failures can be expected; extensive damages will occur. 
- Hurricane Camille (1969; 190 mph)
- Hurricane Andrew (1992; 165 mph)  

All information obtained from the NOAA
Saffir Simpson Scale: