On October 10, Hurricane Michael made landfall on the Florida Panhandle with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph. Having already wrought havoc across Central America, the Category 4 storm became the third most powerful hurricane (in terms of minimum central pressure, a key indicator of strength) ever to hit the contiguous United States. By the time the storm finally cleared, it had tragically claimed 60 lives and some $11.28 billion in damages.
Continue reading “Made Even Stronger: Mexico Beach Home Rides Out Hurricane Michael”
As we’ve seen with the hurricane seasons of that past decade or so, homes are not always built to withstand a major storm. The hurricane season of 2017 was one of the deadliest and costliest seasons in US history. Countless homes and buildings were severely damaged or destroyed, leaving thousands of families displaced. It will take years for communities to rebuild and recover from such devastation.
Fortunately, there are solutions that can help protect your home from a hurricane or high-wind event.
Continue reading “Hurricane Season: Understanding High-Wind Home Preparation”
Disaster strikes. It’s inevitable, given enough time. Regardless of where you live, there are natural disasters waiting to happen, be they earthquakes, floods, tornadoes or hurricanes. Meteorologists and emergency service providers can often provide advance notice of weather-related disasters like hurricanes, but seismic events, tornadoes and flash floods can often occur with little or no warning.
In the wake of recent catastrophic events such as Superstorm Sandy (233 deaths, $75 billion in damages), the 2011 Joplin tornado (158 deaths, $2.8 billion in damages), and Hurricane Katrina (1,245 deaths, $108 billion in damages), emergency management experts are increasingly evaluating the benefits of sheltering in place as opposed to evacuation. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), sheltering in place is generally advisable when it may be dangerous to leave your home or place of employment.
Continue reading “Staying Put, Riding Out the Storm and Surviving the Odds by Sheltering in Place”
From hurricanes and earthquakes to wildfires, floods, freezes, droughts, severe storms and more, natural disasters plagued the United States in 2017. The National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) reports that 2017 could be a record-breaking year for disasters that cause over $1 billion in damage. As of October of 2017, NCEI reported 15 such events in the United States, only one fewer than in the record year of 2011. Without going into the details of why these events occur — we’ll leave that to the scientific community — there are ways to prevent damage and destruction by building resilient communities and structures.
Continue reading “Picking Up the Pieces — Examining the Effects of Hurricane Harvey”
As we’ve seen with the hurricane seasons of that past decade or so, homes are not always built to be storm resistant. During the 2017 hurricane season, countless homes and buildings were severely damaged or destroyed, leaving thousands of families displaced. It will take years for communities to rebuild and recover from such devastation.
Fortunately, there are solutions that can help protect your home from a hurricane or high-wind event. Building your home to meet or exceed code requirements can have a significant impact on whether your home withstands the next big storm. Many parts of the country follow the International Building Code, which establishes design standards for new home construction. If properly enforced, these codes help strengthen homes and protect them from storm damage.
Continue reading “5 Steps to a Safer and More Storm-Resistant Home”
Nearly all parts of the country are subject to high winds. It’s important that your house is designed to withstand a high wind storm. Knowing whether your house is storm ready requires a few simple steps.
One of the first things to consider is where you live. Coastal areas, for example, are more susceptible to powerful winds such as hurricanes. Local building codes for these areas typically require homes to resist much higher wind speeds than inland homes. You’ll want to check with your local building department to learn about the codes that govern your area.
Continue reading “Retrofitting Your Home for High Wind — 5 Questions to Ask Yourself”