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Concrete and Natural Disasters: What You Need to Know

January 14, 2019

Natural disasters can occur anywhere at any time. Whether fire, hurricane, tornado, or other natural disaster, nothing protects your home like concrete.


In 2018, 22 major hurricanes touched land around the Northern Hemisphere and the Congressional Budget Office estimates that hurricanes cause $28 billion in damage a year. And according to a National Geographic report, 2017 marked the most expensive hurricane season in U. S. history. If you’re looking for a way to protect your family and treasured possessions, concrete is the way to go.

Concrete can withstand high winds and crashing rain. During Hurricane Michael earlier this year, a reinforced concrete home in Mexico Beach, Florida, was one of the only homes still standing after the Category 4 storm. Building with concrete is known as hazard mitigation—using stronger, more resilient building techniques to prevent property damage and save money over the building’s lifecycle.


Since January 1, 2018, a total of 6,273 wildfires have burned 876,131 acres in California alone. Luckily, concrete can withstand heat up to 1,000 degrees. Concrete ingredients like cement and aggregate are virtually non-combustible, plus, concrete’s slow rate of heat transfer means your home and possessions are protected from flames and intense heat.


While it’s difficult to make a truly tornado-proof home, concrete is still your best bet. Insulated concrete form (ICF) is cast in place concrete that results in a much stronger and more efficient structure. ICFs can withstand winds up to 250 mph. The most catastrophic tornadoes sometimes reach upwards of 300 mph, but the average wind funnel only reaches 112 mph or less (Live Science).

While you can’t plan for every possible disaster, concrete will give you the peace of mind that your home may still be standing in the aftermath of most hurricanes, fires, or tornadoes. If you’re shopping for a new home or are having one built, consider the advantages of using concrete versus other materials.

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