During times of the recent past, it has been a very rare occurrence for earthquakes or hurricanes to hit Australia, but with the changing weather conditions there are several questions about what we can expect for the future. For many families there is a renewed interest in preparing for the unexpected. The fact is that we really have no idea what the future will bring in terms of severe weather events, so it might be time to talk about some areas where we can prepare for the elements to change. Ideally, a circular shaped house is useful for resisting hurricane damage but sometimes we have to work with what we have already and make necessary preparations for an uncertain future.
Prevention from Uplift
In the event of a hurricane, a key area that could cause loss of property or life is in how well the house is able to avoid being lifted up and away during high winds. This means ensuring that there is a ‘continuous load path’. In a nutshell, this is ensuring that the key elements of the house including walls, foundations and floors are all fastened together to ensure that they hold strong in the face of high wind events. Bracing of the roof and foundations with steel connectors and strapping will assist the house from flying away from its footing. Talk to Black & White Houseraising & Restumping about extra bracing for your home.
Protection from Penetration
An area that can contribute to both the weakening of the structure, as well as causing damage to items inside the house is penetration of window areas. Two ways that this can be remedied or prepared for, is to install shutters to the outside of the house or to install impact resistant windows to ensure that they are not punctured by flying debris.
One of the major issues with any kind of weather event is flooding. Obviously, the best choice would be to build in areas that are not prone to flooding. However, sometimes this is impossible to predict with changing flood paths. For some people the task of raising their home above the flood path is a worthwhile and successful exercise that gives them both peace of mind while keeping their home and family high and dry.
Earthquake Proofing Interior and Utilities
Much of the damage that occurs during an earthquake is due to large items falling and crushing other items. This can be remedied by securing large pieces of furniture to the inner walls and floor, and utilities such as water heaters, air conditioners and gas cylinders are securely fastened into position. Additionally, it is important that you know the location of the shut off valve for gas as well as how to turn it off.