Is Your Home Hurricane-Proof?

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Even though we’re in the last few days of October and hurricane season will end in a little over a month, I came across an interesting video online about a new lab that tests homes against hurricane force winds. The Institute for Business and Home Safety in Chester County, South Carolina is a leading research institute that is aiming to test and refine building designs that will be able to withstand almost any hurricane. Researches put two 1,300-square-feet homes side by side and turned on 150 giant fans to create wind gusts of up to 110 mph. The objective was to learn how to minimize damage from natural disasters and which methods/construction materials work best.

As the winds picked up, the siding/roof started to rip off the home that was not built to hurricane standards (left).Image: disastersafety.org

As the winds reach 92 mph the house is blown off its foundation. Image: disastersafety.org

Click here to watch.

The home built to survive a hurricane was left relatively untouched. However, the home not built to such specifications was destroyed. The siding and roof started ripping off as the winds picked up. Eventually, the entire house was blown off its foundation as winds reached 92 mph (this is also the anecdotal ‘magic’ number for wind speeds before a total collapse starts to occur). I thought this video was very informative as it allowed you to compare the two homes under the same conditions and how drastically different the outcome was for each of them.

Here’s a helpful link that may help you determine whether or not your home is “hurricane proof” or possibly some things you can do to make your home less vulnerable for damage.

The 2010 North Atlantic Hurricane Season is still well underway as we’re tracking a couple of different disturbances. The first is Tropical Disturbance 66 (see below) which is a surface low-pressure interacting with an upper level trough. Showers and thunderstorms have increased near the center this morning and satellite imagery indicates this area is close to becoming a tropical storm. However, it will pose no threat to land areas as it will remain in the open Atlantic. Tropical Disturbance 67 remains disorganized across the Atlantic. Models indicate it may develop once it moves into the central Caribbean in about a week. Lastly, Tropical Disturbance 68 is a weak surface trough interacting with an upper trough. Models suggest this system may become a tropical storm over the next few days as it moves to the west at about 5 mph.

Image: ImpactWeather

As we head into November, the areas to watch for tropical development will be in the Caribbean and subtropical Atlantic. As Dave mentioned last week, this season is now officially in the top 5 busiest…

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