Every year, from June to November, hurricane season descends on the United States. Due to the warmth provided by the Gulf Stream, storms can sustain their strength and grow as they move toward the Atlantic coastline. Once a storm has sustained winds over 70mph, it is generally considered a hurricane. Twenty-four-hour news cycles then obsess over forecasts, windows are boarded up along the coast, and grocery store shelves empty as residents prepare for everything from tropical depressions to catastrophic Category 5 hurricanes.
The economic consequences of these storms are astounding; Hurricane Sandy caused approximately $50 billion in damage in 2012. Hurricane Katrina, in 2005, left behind over $80 billion. Over 2,000 American citizens have died due to hurricane events between 2000 and 2021. These catastrophes and their stories linger in our collective memory for decades.
From the Galveston, Texas hurricane of 1900 to the more recent destruction caused by Hurricane Ida, the threat posed by hurricanes is on the mind of every citizen. How do you prepare and protect your family and your property?
The question on the mind of every concerned citizen and researcher is, “Are hurricanes getting worse?” With every passing year, the frequency of these storms is increasing. Hurricanes that historically would have been a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence now appear to be a yearly tragedy. Is this feeling merely a response to increasing media coverage? Or is there something more than anecdotal evidence behind our concerns?
According to a report referenced by Live Science, “The 39-year period the researchers studied covers an era when climate change dramatically accelerated, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The world has warmed significantly in every year of those 39, and the 39 years include eight of the 10 warmest ever recorded.” While the number of hurricanes forming in the Atlantic remains roughly the same, season to season, the intensity of the storms has dramatically increased. There are far more Category 3, 4, and 5 storms than in the past. The 2017 hurricane season alone caused over $280 billion in damage.
Live Science went on to summarize, “The balance of evidence – models and real-world observations – points strongly toward the idea that tropical cyclones ‘have become substantially stronger, and that there is a likely human fingerprint on this increase”. Climate change studies in the wake of 2012’s Hurricane Sandy found that the destruction would have been substantially lower if the storm had struck a century earlier, when ocean levels were a foot lower. Rising sea levels are predicted to drive at least a 5% increase in hurricane intensity over the next one hundred years.
Unfortunately, coastal communities and their infrastructure are rarely prepared for the staggering pressure of coastal erosion and increasing storms. Worse, populations near the beach have experienced explosive growth since 1980, with most areas seeing approximately 50% increases in residency. With these factors in play, how can you prepare for the worst?
Steel is rated a Type 1 construction material by the International Building Code (IBC); it has been certified with the highest possible rating for fire resistance. Steel is also rust-resistant and ductile, meaning that it bends under intense pressures instead of collapsing, as other construction materials might. Best of all, steel is highly wind resistant. The vertical roof by Carport Central is engineered to withstand up to 140mph winds.
When it comes to comparing the stability of metal and wood structures, the differences are obvious. Metal buildings are built to withstand extreme weather events and are bolted to their foundations. Wood structures, are on the other hand, are usually held in place with nails, and can literally be lifted off their foundations by strong winds.
Metal buildings are welded, and precision cut on the factory floor, then installed with nuts and bolts. Wooden structures are put together on site and rely on screws or nails to keep them together.
A regular wooden door is vulnerable to moisture and pests. If it is breached during a hurricane, dangerous wind pressure can develop within your structure. Not only will it compromise the overall integrity of your wood structure, but debris could enter your home.
Metal doors are, obviously built of stronger material than wood. Steel doors are as durable and strong as their surrounding structures and will more securely shelter you and your belongings.
Steel buildings are reinforced vertically with trusses, joists, and girders that support their incredibly engineered clear span structure. Laterally, the crabs, walls, and moment frames create a durable framework for long-term structural integrity. Add to that the tie-downs, anchor bolts, and other foundational supports, and you have a recipe for success!
If you already own a metal building and would like to make it more secure against upcoming hurricanes, you’ll be pleased to discover that retrofitting your structure is simple and affordable. Large structures will need a customized plan, but that’s easily accomplished with the assistance of the professionals in our customer service department. We’re happy to talk through the best options with you! A smaller steel building will benefit from a hurricane kit. A hurricane kit from Carport Central will provide a series of anchors, metal building straps, and plates that will ensure your structure can withstand the toughest weather. If you have windows in your structure, you may want to consult one of our friendly experts about storm shutters.
When you’re facing down a Category 4 storm, you want the strongest shelter available! Consider the following factors as you customize a metal building, and you can confidently face the future, even a future with extreme weather events.
Not every steel building will be as prepared as possible for a hurricane. Wind resistance depends a great deal on the exposure rating of your structure. For example, if you live in an urban or suburban area, where wind is significantly reduced by other structures, your building will have an Exposure rating of “B”. However, if you live in a rural area without as much coverage, it may be a “C”. In an open field, facing the full brunt of the wind, a building is assigned a letter “D” exposure rating. These ratings will affect the wind resistant reinforcements necessary for your structure.
When choosing the certified frame for your structure, you have a few options. The Rigid, or “I-Beam”, Frame is commonly used in commercial structures. The Open Web Truss is usually seen in residential buildings, and the heavier frame involved lends an even greater strength.
There are rebar, concrete, and asphalt anchors available for metal buildings. We recommend discussing which is best anchor for your building with one of our professionals.
The taller the building, the more wind pressure it will face. A higher roof pitch withstands wind better than a low roof. Consider all these factors during the purchasing process.
We recommend 26-gauge steel panels for siding. Our standard buildings are built with 14-gauge steel, but if you face significant wind exposure, 12-gauge steel is stronger and available through Carport Central.
The increasing severity of hurricanes in the United States is a serious concern for every property owner, and Carport Central wants you to be prepared! Our friendly professionals are happy to talk through the options and benefits with you, so you can confidently face upcoming hurricane seasons. Our steel structures are certified by experts to withstand extreme weather. Shelter within a metal building you can rely on! Call Carport Central today at (980) 321-9898 and feel secure in steel!