High wind events are inevitable occurrences. However, it is common for people to underestimate the true impact of these events unless they have experienced one first hand. The reality is wind events cause a significant amount of damage to both property and life every year. As a result, politicians on both sides of the aisle continue to push for improved and defined construction standards tailored specifically to protecting the lives of the public when a wind event occurs.
In 2005, the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Act was signed into law. The purpose of the law was to ensure that state and local building codes included copy on windstorm resistant provisions. This law was renewed by President Obama in 2015. The resigning of the National Windstorm Reduction Act solidified the continued funding of research regarding protection against wind events.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) were charged with spearheading the initiatives set forth by the law. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Understanding the overall effect of high winds
- Preventing future wind caused damages
The NOAA reported in 2015 that there were more than 14,000 high wind events in the United States. To be classified as a high wind event, wind speeds must be above 40 mph and/or experience gusts of wind that are 58 mph or more. After understanding the classification requirements it is easy to see that wind events do not have to solely be either hurricanes or tornadoes, as it is most commonly assumed.
High winds and thunderstorm winds account for the following metrics, compiled by WeatherDB:
- Ranked 8 and 9, respectively for deadliest natural disasters in the United States
- Accounts for 52 deaths in the US on average
- Annually injures 327 individuals
- Results in over $1.18 billion in damages to property
Taking the above factors into consideration, continued development around wind event construction standards is a top priority. Ensuring that you’re using a roof system engineered for high wind performance, like FiberTite is key. Betting on a product that features a heavy base fabric and proprietary knit design to resist the effects on wind can offer peace of mind. Check out our buildings standards for wind performance, including Miami-Dad County’s Department of Regulatory & Economic Resources NOAs here.
How can you prevent damage from wind events? Tell us about it in the comments.
Information from this article based on Metal-Era’s post “When Politicians Actually Agree, It Must Be Important.”