Information in this article is based on material shared during the 2016 Annual Meeting session Don’t Let Your Disaster Plan Be a Disaster.
We lock our doors and buy the latest technology security systems. We buy both homeowners and flood insurance to protect our homes. Are there other things we can do to not only protect our homes but prevent wind damage from occurring?
Over the last twelve months in the United States, named and unnamed storms have affected more than 100 million people and caused billions of dollars in damages. According to Property Claim Services, Superstorm Sandy in 2012 caused $18.75 billion in insured property losses, even after excluding insurance claims covered by the federal flood insurance program.1 And Louisiana Governor John Bel Edward estimated local damage from an unnamed storm in August 2016 as $8.7 billion, according to the Associated Press.2
To further examine this topic, Gregg Golson, a veteran of 31 tours of catastrophe duty, spoke with founder and president of Bracken Engineering William Bracken, who has been a structural engineer for more than twenty-five years.
Licensed in thirty-five states, Bracken is also a senior structures specialist with the Florida Urban Search and Rescue Program, chair of Florida’s engineering licensure board, and an instructor for the International Code Council. He holds the PE, CFM, SI, StS2, F. SEI, F. NAFE, and F. ASCE professional certifications and licenses. In this interview, Bracken discusses how wind pressure and wind-borne debris damage homes and what people can do to prevent wind or flood damage to their homes.
Gregg Golson (GG): First, I would like to discuss wind damage to homes. How critical is it to protect a structure and keep the wind from entering it?
William Bracken (WB): Simply put, when the building’s envelope, or physical separator between its interior and exterior, is protected and wind pressure is prevented from entering, the structure will, in nearly every instance, survive the wind event.
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