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JustAnEngineer
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2019 Hurricane Season

Tue Sep 03, 2019 5:29 am

(Inspired by a previous thread):

I was supposed to be vacationing on the east coast of Florida this week, but Dorian caused me to postpone my travel plans by 5 days or more. It now looks as if Florida will be spared, but the storm damage in the Bahamas has been catastrophic.
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Usacomp2k3
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Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:23 am

Yeah, the bahamas really are taking it like crazy. That is going to take years to rebuild.
 
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Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:54 am

"Spared" from the worst of it, but it still looks like there will be significant rainfall from Miami to NC. I've got an old high school friend in NC posting on FB about the storm, and her Walmart was basically cleaned out from all the prepping.

As usual, I hope gerbils in the path stay safe. This isn't a storm to take lightly.
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tanker27
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Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:02 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Yeah, the bahamas really are taking it like crazy. That is going to take years to rebuild.


In 1962 Guam took a direct hit from Typhoon Karen, it was a Cat 5. It decimated the island which was mostly wooden structures which the majority of the population lived. During recovery (multiple years) they passed a law that any new structures to be built must be reinforced concrete. Housing prices are ludicrous there because of it.

Anyways my point is, that if you live in a Typhoon or Hurricane zone why keep rebuilding with wood? And if you're an Insurer why would you let the insured do that too?
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Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:20 pm

tanker27 wrote:
Anyways my point is, that if you live in a Typhoon or Hurricane zone why keep rebuilding with wood? And if you're an Insurer why would you let the insured do that too?

People are really bad at objectively evaluating risks like that. In a similar vein, why do people living along the Mississippi and other flood-prone rivers keep rebuilding on floodplains? Why do people in Hawaii build houses downslope of active volcanic vents?
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superjawes
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Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:28 pm

Even objectively speaking, as long as "the big ones" are spread out enough and mitigated for, it's probably acceptable risk...for some. I have little interest in living in a hurricane-prone region, nor would i buy a home in the lower parts of a flood plain.
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Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:38 pm

superjawes wrote:
It's probably acceptable risk...for some. I have little interest in living in a hurricane-prone region, nor would i buy a home in the lower parts of a flood plain.
As long as the taxpayer keeps bearing the costs, there’s no incentive for the people in the river’s floodplain to spend the money to rebuild on stilts. Building codes in hurricane-prone areas require that all homes be built to a certain storm surge level. There are no such requirements along rivers and the taxpayers keep paying to rebuild in the same way in the same location, expecting a different result.
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Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:12 pm

tanker27 wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Yeah, the bahamas really are taking it like crazy. That is going to take years to rebuild.

In 1962 Guam took a direct hit from Typhoon Karen, it was a Cat 5. It decimated the island which was mostly wooden structures which the majority of the population lived. During recovery (multiple years) they passed a law that any new structures to be built must be reinforced concrete. Housing prices are ludicrous there because of it.
Anyways my point is, that if you live in a Typhoon or Hurricane zone why keep rebuilding with wood? And if you're an Insurer why would you let the insured do that too?

Don't forget that much of the Caribbean is quite poor and most of the buildings aren't insured, and requiring concrete structures would put the cost out of reach for almost all people.
 
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Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:52 pm

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Don't forget that much of the Caribbean is quite poor


The Chamorro of Guam are really in the same boat. Tourism is their industry unless they work at the Air Force or Navy base as a Civilian DoD emp/Contractor. Median Income is around $16,549.

Before I built I really studied flood plain maps before committing; going back 150 years to see what had happened in the area.
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derFunkenstein
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Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:42 pm

This thread certainly has taken a weird turn. The idea that most people in the Caribbean are even insured is pretty insane to me. What do they have to insure?

And that's why they rebuild with wood.
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Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:40 pm

tanker27 wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Yeah, the bahamas really are taking it like crazy. That is going to take years to rebuild.


In 1962 Guam took a direct hit from Typhoon Karen, it was a Cat 5. It decimated the island which was mostly wooden structures which the majority of the population lived. During recovery (multiple years) they passed a law that any new structures to be built must be reinforced concrete. Housing prices are ludicrous there because of it.

Anyways my point is, that if you live in a Typhoon or Hurricane zone why keep rebuilding with wood? And if you're an Insurer why would you let the insured do that too?


Because wood is cheaper and a lot of people can't afford concrete.

Would you rather live in a tent during a hurricane, or in a wooden house? Not all hurricanes are Cat5 mind you, living through tropical depressions or Cat1 storms in a wood-house is far better than living in a tent. Because if you can only afford a wood house, the alternative is a Tent (or maybe a mobile home). In any case, wood is probably the best for most people to afford.

Similarly, when Katrina wreaked mobile home communities across Louisiana / Georgia, a lot of people were asking "why did people live in mobile homes during a storm??". Hint hint: for the same reason they don't have wooden houses: because people who live in Trailer Parks can't afford a full-sized single family home. Almost everyone who lives in a trailer park would rather live in a single family home if they could afford it. Poverty sucks.
 
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Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Wed Sep 04, 2019 6:52 am

Regarding the choice of materials: would a wooden house be cheaper than one made of brick and concrete, if both were constructed to survive a Category 5 storm?
 
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Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:07 am

Making code to survive a cat5 would be ridiculously complicated and insanely expensive. That’d be like saying it has to survive a direct hit from an EF-4 tornado that sits on top for hours.
 
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Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:18 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Making code to survive a cat5 would be ridiculously complicated and insanely expensive. That’d be like saying it has to survive a direct hit from an EF-4 tornado that sits on top for hours.
I was gonna say something similar...I would love to see such a design just for the novelty, but we're probably talking about a huge footprint with an itty-bitty living space.
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Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:26 am

When I've been in the Caribbean there has always been more concrete than wood construction. These islands aren't covered with huge pine trees like the United States. Here in the mainland United States, we have a prejudice against concrete construction; we see it as "Soviet Style."
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Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:02 am

Wirko wrote:
Regarding the choice of materials: would a wooden house be cheaper than one made of brick and concrete, if both were constructed to survive a Category 5 storm?

Again, you're pushing first-world values on a third-world section of the globe. The answer is "it doesn't matter because they can't afford it" even if it's possible.

The resorts survive because westerners pump money into them. Nothing else on any of these islands even remotely resembles a resort, though.
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Wirko
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Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:40 am

derFunkenstein wrote:
Wirko wrote:
Regarding the choice of materials: would a wooden house be cheaper than one made of brick and concrete, if both were constructed to survive a Category 5 storm?

Again, you're pushing first-world values on a third-world section of the globe. The answer is "it doesn't matter because they can't afford it" even if it's possible.


Yes, I understand that any answer is of no use to those who have little choice, or no choice at all. Even timber is probably imported in the Bahamas, which would make it more expensive than in most of the world.
 
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Re: 2019 Hurricane Season

Wed Sep 04, 2019 12:14 pm

Concrete also doesn't absorb moisture as much as wood does. For a storm like this which tends to marinate everything in hurricane soup you'd probably have to tear down a wooden structure anyway even if it's still structurally intact.
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