When it comes to devastating storms in the United States, no place is more often the target of hurricanes than the Sunshine State – Florida. According to National Hurricane Center data, from just 1995 to 2017 the number of hurricanes, tropical storms and tropical depressions that have passed through some portion of Florida equals a stunning total of 42. The next closest state on the list is North Carolina with 27 and finishing third is Texas with 22.
The Florida hurricanes since 1995 includes Opal – 1995, Charley – 2004, Ivan – 2004, Jeanne – 2004, Dennis – 2005, Wilma – 2017 and now Michael a category 4 storm beating up the panhandle.
As a result of the constant barrage of traumatic storms, building codes of Florida have continually been fortified since 1998. It was in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew and all the damage left behind created by the storm that compelled the state to complete and pass their very first building code in 1998. The code became effective in March of 2002 and has been tweaked many times since.
It has led Florida to being deemed as having the strictest building codes in the United States and for good reason. Due to the plethora of storms and all the damage they do, there is a very big cost to the economy that can be quite hefty. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the expected annual damage cost to the United States due to hurricanes overall is currently about $28 billion. “Florida accounts for the largest share of expected damage at 55 percent in the agency’s calculations.” That is a pretty big chunk of change in just storm damage so Florida is not messing around.
Their serious approach seems to be paying off, too. According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, after Hurricane Irma ripped through the state in 2017, because approximately 80 percent of homes in Irma’s path had been built after the State’s new and improved construction codes; destruction, and therefore costs, were significantly less. Likewise the officials learned from Hurricane Charley in 2004 that houses built after the mid-90s with the improved codes better withstood the winds.
The good news is that when it comes to elevators, Phoenix Modular Elevator understands local codes (even in Florida) and our elevators can be engineered to meet any building codes especially when it comes to wind concerns. Not only does our standard hurricane area model come with a rating that can withstand a 150 mph, but we also can upgrade modular elevators to withstand 180 mph winds. It is even possible to make them more durable if the rules ever go beyond that. The same can be said about earthquakes as well. Our elevators find homes from Florida to California, Alaska to New York.
If you would like more info or have a project in mind in an area prone to hurricanes click below.