Hurricanes are rated on the Saffir Simpson scale which places hurricanes into five different categories, from the lowest, a Category One hurricane, which has sustained winds between 74 and 95 miles per hour, all the way up to Category Five, which has sustained wind speeds of 157 miles per hour or higher. Storms with wind speeds between 39 and 73 miles per hour are not hurricanes but tropical storms, while storms below that 39-mph threshold are mere tropical depressions. Even lesser storms can pack a big impact. Sandy, when it hit the East Coast of the United States in 2012, didn't even rate as a tropical storm, but it caused millions of dollars in damages, and killed 285 people. A larger hurricane can be much more destructive.