Hurricane prep: Circle back to home safety

When it comes to hurricanes in South Florida, nothing can be taken for granted. Predictions that a storm will take a certain path are just that: predictions that may or may not come true. Hurricanes and tropical storms can defy expectations and end up targeting an area many thought would be spared — or, against long odds, weaken sooner than expected or shift away from densely populated areas without causing much damage.

Ultimately, it usually makes sense to err on the side of caution. Getting out of harm’s way with your family should be your top priority when the potential for a dangerous storm is high. If a hurricane does inflict severe damage to your home, you’ll still be able to file an insurance claim with the knowledge that what is most irreplaceable — your loved ones — are safe.

If your home is subjected to the extreme water and wind forces that hurricanes can bring, you may have to make substantial repairs — or even start over altogether. While extreme weather can inflict its wrath inconsistently, leaving some homes virtually untouched while others are gutted, some structures are better than others at making it through a hurricane in relatively good shape.

One aspect to consider is the architecture of the house itself. Some structural engineers say that circular buildings are better at withstanding the extreme conditions of a hurricane. While a circular home may not match up with the traditional look of the other houses on the block, it does have benefits not seen in regular homes, particularly in how wind and rain are dispersed. They cannot be concentrated on any one side, as in a traditional home, so the structural integrity of the home may be stronger.

Not everyone will have the resources, ability or desire to build or live in a circular home. However, everyone who lives in an area prone to hurricane damage should do whatever they can to prepare in order to minimize a storm’s impact.