Hurricane season is once again upon us and it has never been more relevant in the U.S. than since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina just five short years ago. It opened much of the country’s eyes to the destruction these violent storms can unleash in a short period of time.
The most pressing needs for coastal regions affected by hurricanes are structures that can withstand the winds they can whip up – in excess of 150 mph in Category 5 storms. Among the most important applications for storm-resistant structures are building that house a large number of residents, and protection for critical infrastructure such as phone and electric utilities.
The precast industry offers the perfect solution with affordable, dependable and easily installed options that can withstand even the worst storms. In one example of the protection precast concrete can offer, the Mississippi Division of Tindall Corp., produced architectural cladding pieces for an Armed Forces Retirement Home in Gulfport, Miss., that can withstand 200 mph-plus winds.
Tindall Corp., along with Gulf Coast Pre-Stress of Pass Christian, Miss., and Bayshore Concrete Products of Cape Charles, Va., also worked on a storm surge barrier that better protects New Orleans from future hurricanes. A full, award-winning story can be found in our March/April 2010 Precast Inc. magazine.
Other NPCA members such as Easi-Set Industries and its licensees like J.E. Hill produce storm-proof structures for utilities, which allow communities to return to normal much quicker, as well as storage buildings. An article can be found in our July/August 2009 Precast Inc. magazine. Since the entire building is cast off site, it can be installed in just hours and even come pre-equipped with plumbing and electrical fixtures.
You can find a full listing of NPCA-member precasters in your area, and search by product type here. In addition, an extensive article on the benefits of concrete for storm-prone areas can also be found the website of the Portland Cement Association.