I have read that it will cost approximately $160 billion to address the destruction left behind in Texas, due to Hurricane Harvey. Mother Nature is to be respected so why don’t we respect humanity? I find it unbelievable, after all these massive hurricanes we have had in the past 25 years, that virtually every time, rebuilding continues with the same methodology in other areas outside of South Florida. South Florida learned its lesson 25 years ago after Hurricane Andrew took a toll on the South Florida community. We basically have the strictest building codes in the country now, because we considered how important it was to keep the safety of the public at hand and our building codes continue to become stricter. It is bewildering when we see wood construction along coastal areas after such devastating events. It isn’t that wood construction can’t withstand water and wind but it is the power and magnitude of these hurricanes we have all been experiencing, that the type of rebuilding must be considered. Therefore, we must go to the experience others have had to face and endure to learn from. Building with concrete block, concrete and impact doors and windows makes more sense along these coastal communities.
Wood has its limitations, as all materials do. It is important that the public understand that certain materials function better in different areas. We build with wood and brick in the North because they are colder climates and these materials are readily available due to the proximity of forests. However, we must think sustainability, as well. Are we doing justice to the people or the environment, or neither? How many more does it take for us to understand that certain things work in some areas and others, in other areas. It is unsustainable anyway due to deforestation. Waste! Our lives are a consumption based economy, which is unsustainable. Therefore, we should really consider what is important to all of us and not just ourselves. Another concern that has always bothered me is why build in wood in tornado areas. Why not build a stronger foundation and skeleton? Think of it this way, “Our human body is made up of a skeleton which protects our organs and without this skeleton we literally would collapse for there would be nothing to sustain our body”. So why would we build the way we do when Mother Nature continually keeps on telling us not to mess with her. It is common sense and she could not be more explicit for all we have to do is look at the photos posted everywhere .
As Harvey has passed and rebuilding is in its presence, we now face Irma and what she can possibly inflict. Thanks to the continual hard work of the South Florida community, the care and concern our local leaders have depicted, their organization and their fast responses and concerns we have much to be thankful for and it is these actions that together we all reach out and help one another.
Humanity learns from trial and error. We are visual learners, so the photos of devastation could not be clearer. So, what can we do? Ask questions, become informed for an informed public is an educated public. It is the people of our country that make the world go around. We must protect them because in doing so we help each other. We can in turn, make it a more efficient and sustainable place for all of us.