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WEATHER ON STEROIDS – Sandy’s Wake Up Call

Above Photo: Sandy on Long Beach NY 2012

We seem to have “Weather on Steriods” and the TREND is not good. We have just had three 100 year storms hit the Northeast alone in the last 3 years!

Hurricane/SuperStorm “Sandy” is the worst storm since New York was founded in 1624, It’s preliminary costs are now over over $50 BILLION in damages. Suddenly Governors and Mayors are thinking that they may need an Amsterdam-type shield from future flooding.  The windborne debris blew out windows across the city – even blowing off the side of an old buildings.

Meanwhile, another major hurricane (called “cyclones” in that part of the world) is hitting INDIA. Before that CHINA has had several major hits with CAT 4 storms this year. Each storm kills crops and displaces people, causing more economic strife and economic uncertainty.

2012 has been the warmest on record since weather records were started. The TREND is for BIGGER storms, more POWERFUL storms.

We’ve seen record-setting TORNADOES the past couple years as well. Last year the HAIL was several FEET deep in parts of North Texas near Amarillo and Lubbock.

That means greater destruction to our human dwellings unless we use greater “armoring” of our buildings from future wind and storm surge brought on by these “SuperStorms.”  Windborne debris breaking a window leads to immediate structural stress that can blow apart buildings and at a minimum inundate a building with water and the aftermath of mold and extensive repairs for months.

That scenario has just happened to tens of millions of people living in 12 states!  Those of us who went through IKE in 2008 and Katrina before that understand what it’s like not having electric power for days and spoiled food and no access to gasoline or grocery stores.

On the radio today I listened to several people describe to NPR their experiences. One lady was in a building near the Jersey Shore pier that was shredded for miles. She said she was hoping that a plank would not crash through a window. None did, but what about next time?

It’s time we started armoring our structures – AND taking action to reduce these damaging storms in the future.

Recently at a primary debate, Gov. Romney endorsed cutting back FEMA and sending the costs to the States and private sector. Can you imagine any state picking up a $50 Billion tab?  I can’t imagine Texas taxpayers picking up the costs of Hurricane Ike or the residents of Louisiana paying 100% for the losses of Katrina. We are Americans and have to help each other out from these growth natural disasters.

I am speaking to key building management professionals about that issue the next couple days. Stay tuned for updates.

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