Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Preparation For a Disaster

Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods; we have become a world of natural disasters. As you plan on building your new home, now is the time to plan and prepare for the natural disasters that can occur in your life. We will look at some ways to prepare for this event.

Walls of the House

For the best protection against disaster causing winds, use concrete walls such as the type that uses the method proven by the Department of Energy to also be the most energy efficient method of construction. Walls that have concrete on the interior of the wall and the exterior of the wall while having EPS foam in the middle of the wall. The DOE refers to these walls as C-I-C (concrete-insulation-concrete.) Normally 150 mph winds create less than 50 psf pressure on the walls. This method of construction C-I-C can easily be designed to provide 160 psf pressure resistance with up to 27' tall walls. The pressure the walls have to resist in shear will be less than 8,000 lbs. in just about every situation. The C-I-C walls provide 12,000 lbs. in a little 4' area of solid wall. This wall can resist over 2 1/2 times the force of 150 MPH winds.This type wall makes it superior in strength, termite resistance, fire resistance, energy efficiency, sustainability, and is considered a green product.

Installation of Shutters

The next level of protection is the construction of shutters to place over the windows. The best level of protection requires that the shutter can resist impact without penetration of the shutter and not break the glass that the shutter is protecting. Materials to use to construct shutters are polycarbonate materials and plywood. Polycarbonate shutters are transparent and will allow light to enter the room if the power is off, however, the polycarbonate materials can be expensive. If you decide to use plywood, the size of the plywood that will give you the best protection is " thick.

Install Protective Doors

The best types of doors that may withstand the high pressure of hurricanes and high winds are all metal doors or solid wood doors. If you have other kinds of doors, the best protection is to install shutters over the doors.

Garage Doors

If you have seen pictures after tornadoes or hurricanes have gone through an area, either garage doors are nonexistent or they are buckled. Part of the reason you see so much damage is because of the width of the door. Some of the ways to protect garage doors are to install a hurricane proof door or construct a shutter system. The shutter systems that are created for garage doors are known as wind pressure and impact rated system. The systems that protect garage doors offer a system of braces that brace the garage panels both vertically and horizontally.

I wanted to include the next two steps, because they should be mentioned and may not necessarily used during the construction phase, but should be remembered for possible uses.

Silicon Caulk

The caulking is good to apply on any outside wall openings. Some of the instances that you might need this are for outside vents, electrical outlets, or where cables and pipes are located.

Duct Tape

This is the one product that I always claim has a thousand and one uses. If you are aware that a storm is coming, you may want to duct your clothes dryer vent and any other vents.

In conclusion, we have looked at some aspects to take a look at when getting ready to build a new home. If you implement some of these suggestions as you build your home, you can have the assurance that you and your family will be protected before the event occurs.

Are you getting ready to build a new home? What precautions against natural disasters are you taking? To get more information about building your next safe and energy efficient home, visit

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