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Miami was ready for Irma

October 6, 2017

After being one of the 7 million residents of Florida to travel with their family to avoid the threat of Hurricane Irma, we came home to realize the resileince and readiness that our city had to offer. With the total population of Florida estimated at around 21 million, approximately one third of the entire state fled in anticipation of the 180 mph winds. Astonishingly people came back after the weekend to find a pleasant surprise because beyond temporary floods that quickly vanished and the fallen trees, the only real threat was lack of power, which was quickly restored in many areas of the city, and in some specific places it never went out. Despite the fact that Irma was twice the size of Andrew, the most devastating hurricane to ever affect the city of Miami throughout its history, it produced much less impact.

We can attribute that good fortune to two reasons. First, Irma had less strength as she turned to the west coast. The different weathers over land pulled the hurricane west draging her towards naples, rather than picking up speed on the warm ocean waters taveling up the east coast, which kept her at category 3 instead of 4 or 5 as Andrew was. And second, since Andrew hit in 1992, Florida radically changed building codes, making all new buildings built since then completely hurricane-proof. This also explains the difference in real estate costs of pre and post Andrew buildings. Everything from infrastructure to impact doors and windows makes a huge differnece in the ability for your home or community to survive a natural disaster, a huge factor that should be taken into account when purchasing a home in the South Florida.

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