Hurricane Ian impacted millions of Florida residents by knocking out power, flooding, and destroying homes and businesses. As we begin to pick up the pieces, many reports are noticing a trend in newer-built homes that were in the path of the storm. While much damage was still sustained to these homes, they tended to fare better than storms built with older building codes. We’ll explore the information in the initial reports in this blog. For more on building with concrete, visit our website

Hurricane Andrew
After Hurricane Andrew struck Florida as a historic storm in 1992, Florida worked to tighten building codes for future projects and renovations to better prepare residents and business owners. At the time of Hurricane Andrew, there were more than 400 different building codes. 

New Era
In 2002, all that changed when the state adopted the Florida Building Code (FBC). It stated that all new construction should be able to withstand hurricane-force winds and feature shutters or impact-resistant glass in all openings. Additionally, places deemed in the new high-velocity hurricane zones had to abide by stricter regulations. 

Setting the Standard
These new building codes enacted after Hurricane Andrew are some of the strongest in the country for wind resistance. For buildings in an HVHZ, the windows, doors and roofs have to be able to withstand the most severe weather. Concrete blocks play a big role here. 

Damage from Hurricane Ian
One organization estimates Hurricane Ian’s insured damages will total $22 billion to $32 billion. While this is a hefty sum, it’s much lower than the numbers we’d be seeing if new structures had not been built with the updated building codes. 

In a graphic, researchers tracked the age of homes in one affected coastal area. It shows 18 homes built before 1981 completely wiped away by the storm, and one house built in 2020 which appears to be almost completely unscathed. While the home is elevated above much of the storm surge, even the roofing appears undamaged. You can see the concrete blocks which helped sustain it through the surge, playing a huge role in the survival of the structure.