In August of 2020, the University of Georgia’s (UGA) Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant department put together a Resident’s Handbook to Prepare for Natural Disasters in Georgia. The recommendations it contains cover tornado safety, wildfire prevention, evacuation strategies, winter weather preparedness, and more.
Clearly, there’s a lot we can do to protect ourselves and our loved ones in a catastrophic event. One constant piece of advice among all of the disaster preparedness strategies involves seeking reliable shelter. A strong, dependable building will act as a protective shield for many people and mean the difference between safety and disaster.
What constitutes a reliable shelter? How can we be sure that our buildings are safe? A good Georgia contractor will ensure that your structure is ready to weather the most common storms in your area.
The Types of Natural Disasters that Georgia Commonly Faces
First, what are the prevalent natural disasters that happen in the Peach State? According to Georgia Emergency Management, the events to keep in mind include:
- Tornadoes. In the 60+ years between 1950 and 2014, Georgia saw over 1500 tornadoes. Tornado-producing storms occurred most often in March through May.
- Severe Flooding and Thunderstorms. Storms that are capable of producing tornadoes happen even more frequently than full-blown twisters! While these storms may not be as scary, they can still include large hail and bewilderingly-fast winds. Between the two months of December 2015 and January 2016, 33 Georgia counties experienced disaster-level thunderstorms and flooding.
- Wildfires. Fires can ignite quickly and spread without warning, destroying homes and devastating entire cities. For example, in April of 2007, a damaged power line started a fire that consumed over 550,00 acres of land.
In the face of such powerful natural forces as these, what can a steel building do to ensure that you, your clients, their loved ones, and everyone involved remain safe?
Bolster Your GA Building: Strategies for Protection Against Natural Disasters
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, issues regular recommendations to builders and contractors to help them know the most updated ways to build new structures safely.
One such recommendation? Ensuring that every structure that a contracting team delivers is up to code. For example, Georgia has building and construction codes specifically mapped out to ensure that each structure built in the state is as safe as possible. FEMA points out that following these types of building codes can reduce casualties during a disaster, reduce costs associated with damages, and help communities recover faster after an adverse event.
Other strategies include:
- Designing a structure specifically to withstand both uplift and lateral forces. This can include bracing every part of the building, inside and out
- Upgrading the roof covering and structure as much as possible
- Including impact-resistant doors and windows or reinforcing or providing protective covers for all doors and windows
- Designing and designating a specific central part of the structure to be extremely protected from wind damage, to provide a location for residents or building occupants to shelter in place
As strategies go, using steel is a solid one. Steel is resistant to extreme heat, stays firm in the face of inclement weather, and even looks modern and beautiful while providing reliable protection. Steel won’t corrode, so it’ll stand the test of time—and it’s flexible enough to be used in a variety of building applications.
Ultimately, it’s a great bet to use steel and work with steel building contractors who have experience optimizing buildings to meet all of Georgia’s safety standards.
Make Sure Your Building Can Shelter You From the Most Serious GA Storms
Steel buildings are very safe; however, you need to make sure they’re carefully engineered to shelter you impeccably from the ground up. The best way to do so is to work with trusted start-to-finish steel building contractors.
At Peak Steel Contractors, that’s just what we do. We’ll ensure that you meet your safety goals with your building! Check out our past projects and contact us for more information about your building protection in natural disasters.