A California-Style Approach Could Save Florida Homes During Hurricanes

Author: Raleigh Kuipers

In an article published by Newsweek, Tracy Kijewski-Correa, Acting Director of the Pulte Institute for Global Development and engineering professor at the University of Notre Dame, shared her team’s findings on how buildings that were up-to-date on building codes weathered Hurricane Ian better than those which were out-of-date.

“If the vast majority [of buildings] are not touched by the latest [building codes], then you will always be vulnerable…All the structures built to modern code perform quite well."

Kijewski-Correa also noted that retrofitting older buildings could lessen damage for coastal communities; she urged Florida and other hurricane-prone areas to adopt policies like California’s, which require the retrofitting of earthquake-susceptible buildings and provide subsidies for some homeowners to do so. She also acknowledged that these policies could be hard to enforce, intrusive, and cost-prohibitive for families, but that more accessible options are available.

“We have to find ways to look for minimally intrusive ways to go into those homes…The next frontier is finding minimal patching solutions. I think families will have an appetite for that…”


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Originally published at newsweek.com on October 4, 2022.