Concrete Masonry Holds Up to Hurricanes

This vicious thunderstorm has approximated damages in the billions and claimed 17 lives. In and about Punta Gorda, trailers lay toppled or blown aside. Shards of metal and wood lay scattered on lawns.

It could have been much worse if it weren’t for the residential building code changes which were instituted after Hurricane Andrew in 1992, as awful as this loss is. Andrew, the most harmful U.S. storm on report, blasted its way across south California, creating 24 departures and $26.5 million in damage -mainly thanks to high winds.

The magnitude of harm due to Storm Andrew was unprecedented in the United States. Prior to it, there had been a 25-year lull in essential storm activity over the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, and building codes are not sufficient to restrict the lack of life and property experienced in Hurricane Tim.

Today, rules therefore are being more rigorously applied and have already been reinforced.

“Due to Storm Tim and additional storms in this region, the home building codes are becoming considerably more specific in Fl,” stated Dennis Graber, expert engineer and director of technical publications at the National Concrete Masonry Association. “By conforming to these codes, houses were better able to defy the onslaught of Hurricane Charley.” The National Hurricane Center records that constructing codes reflect the lessons experts have learned from past disasters and indicate that homeowners in hurricane areas contact local building code authorities to find out which requirements are necessary for home improvement jobs.

Construction is encouraged by the Federal Emergency Management Agency with strong, influence-resistant materials, for example tangible brickwork, within homes and other structures located in hurricane-prone places.