How to Protect a House from a Hurricane? US Engineers Requirements
Our planet is one of the most unique planets in the Universe, on which there are favorable conditions for life: heat, water, an atmosphere saturated with oxygen. This only confirms the opinion that everything in this world is interconnected.
What is a hurricane and how does a strong wind form? According to the laws of physics, it is known that warm air is lighter, so it rises up. Cold, on the contrary, is heavier. Therefore, it goes down. This causes the movement of air, which forms the wind.
Cold masses go down and push the warm air that goes up. Warm air, in turn, pushes the cold. A hurricane is a huge funnel reaching several hundred km in diameter with a wind speed of up to 200 km/h. In the center of the funnel, a low-pressure zone is formed in which there is absolutely no wind. Hurricanes often result in significant destruction, which also entails human victims.
Therefore, during such a phenomenon, it is worth hiding in a fortified shelter, which can become your own brick house. In the USA, engineers decided to build prefabricated frame houses in hurricane zones that are easily destroyed by the wind, but they are not so traumatic. On the other hand, a full-fledged brick house will not let the hurricane wind destroy itself. But it also requires protection from a hurricane.
Reinforced concrete houses
reinforced concrete construction as a building material was invented in the 19th century. It is rather difficult to name the pioneer of reinforced concrete construction since in different years patent applications in various countries were filed for reinforced concrete. Even the Frenchman Monnier, who is regarded as the author of reinforced concrete, in fact, is not the discoverer. He simply filed the necessary patent earlier than anyone else, reinforced concrete structures were used before that.
The components of reinforced concrete are simple – cement mortar and steel rods forming solid and strong structures.
So, the first measure that can protect a house from a hurricane is considered its initial construction from reinforced concrete.
The fact is that frame or wooden houses can be quite easily damaged with a strong wind. After all, such houses do not have such a solid foundation and walls as reinforced concrete houses. Therefore, building a house from such material is the first step.
However, sometimes reinforced concrete structures may not withstand natural phenomena and be damaged under their influence.
So, there is a case captured in the video when wind force shook the reinforced concrete bridge and destroyed it. Physicists explain this by the fact that the oscillation frequency of the air masses entered into resonance with the oscillation frequency of the bridge.
That is why the safest option for residents is to build a special shelter or strengthen the basements accordingly.
First, a gale-force wind will not be able to affect the walls of the shelter, as they are underground.
Secondly, the shelter does not have such a weak spot as the roof. After all, even at the most durable stone house, the wind can blow down a roof that has slopes. But the shelter outside either simply has a strong door (if it is outside the house) or is located under the house. This means that if the house is subject to destruction, then a fortified basement – no.
Thus, a special shelter is the best defense against a hurricane.
Secure all movable objects
Another way to protect your home from a hurricane is to secure all movable items.
So, it has long been known that, under the influence of certain external factors, even the smallest objects can cause damage. For example, a mobile phone, which is located inside the car, during a car crash acquires a weight of 16 kg. It is dangerous for the life and health of passengers.
Unsecured objects during a hurricane can have the same effect, however, more severe. Such items will become truly destructive for the home.
It is better to remove and hide all objects in the courtyard and inside the house that cannot be fixed. House items on the outside will become “fierce bombers” if the wind manages to damage the windows.
So, cabinets should not only stand against the wall but also be attached to it. This, incidentally, is a good precaution in everyday life if there are children in the house. A cabinet that could fall unexpectedly is dangerous.
Due to the essential glass fragility, windows are one of the weakest places in the house.
Firstly, the destruction of the window results in the penetration of strong air masses into the house and subsequent negative consequences.
Secondly, sharp glass fragments may become a reason of health damage.
To avoid this, windows need to be strengthened.
First of all, you need to buy and set up the most durable double-glazed windows. It can be a two-layer or three-layer double-glazed window. Stronger double-glazed windows are made of several balls of glass sheets that are laminated with a polymer film and are compressed and joined under pressure (duplex, triplex). Even after they are broken, the polymer film prevents fragments from flying apart and further destruction.
Additionally, the windows need to be strengthened with windproof shutters. If they are not unavailable, you can replace them with plywood panels or shutters that fill the entire width of the window. In everyday life, you can not use them, but store them in an accessible place, so that in case of a storm they can be fastened.
No matter how beautiful the trees are, during a hurricane, they also become dangerous objects. It is not a problem for a strong hurricane to pull out a tree with the root and take it away.
Therefore, in order to protect the house from a hurricane, you need to visit the garden surrounding the house in advance and cut down dry branches. Those branches that themselves have fallen should also be quickly eliminated.
Another precaution to protect the house from the storm is to avoid planting trees around the house. This ensures that they will not be torn out of the ground, their branches will not be broken and thrown to the house. In addition, falling branches are dangerous for a person walking under the trees.
It has long been known that a strong hurricane wind is able to lift and move a car to a certain distance. At the same time, a falling car is capable of causing damage to the buildings.
To avoid this and protect the house from the hurricane wind, emergency workers recommend that cars be placed in garages for the duration of the hurricane. If there is no own garage, then if possible it is better to put it in dead ends and openings between buildings. In this case, the walls will protect from the wind and will not allow to throw a car away or carry it away.
Tags: engineering, hurricane, USA