The frequency and intensity of natural disasters have increased significantly. Aside from the outbreak of a global pandemic, we were also forced to face the realities of the growing climate crisis. The worst wildfires to have ever been recorded ravaged the west coast. Constant hurricanes cause billions of dollars in damage.
Curbing the effects of the climate crisis is now a primary concern. This cannot be achieved overnight, however. Within the context of current circumstances, disaster preparedness and disaster-proofing structures have become more important than ever.
The structural integrity of any property is crucial in mitigating your losses. Once disaster strikes, any building you are inside of will stand as your first line of defense. Regardless of whether it’s a hurricane, earthquake, or even wildfire.
A lot can be learned from how the Japanese construct their buildings. Being caught in the Pacific Ring of Fire, it’s only natural for them to experience typhoons and earthquakes year-round. The difference usually lies in the severity of the calamity. Given the climate crisis, these have recently been much more intense.
If you’re looking to renovate your own home, buy a commercial building, or any other iteration that involves structures, always make sure that they are structurally sound. The integrity of your property should be able to stand the forces of nature as well as the test of time.
Recently, there have been a lot of innovations in helping to improve the disaster stability of structures. These can range from the materials used to incorporating technology in the building process. Here are some ways you can guarantee the safety of any structure.
The Right Materials
Whether it’s for your house or a commercial building, invest in prefabricated materials like durable metal roofs as much as possible. This is an easy way of ensuring the value of the components that go into the structure without sacrificing integrity. Many of these materials are created under controlled conditions which makes quality control much more consistent.
Self-healing concrete is also another modern building material. These are usually infused with sodium silicate capsules when they are manufactured. When the concrete experiences a crack, the capsules open which then fill the fracture. Fissures happen all the time, and they’re easily overlooked. In any structure, even the smallest crack can lead to devastating consequences if left unchecked.
Reliance on Technology
Integrating the use of technology can be an excellent way to modernize the construction process of any structure. It’s also an efficient method of assessing their structural stability. Recently, a lot of architects and builders have been using virtual and augmented reality systems when designing buildings. This allows them to test the building virtually and identify any underlying issues immediately.
Artificial intelligence and predictive technology have also played a role in improving safer building design. Simulation systems are able to forecast the various elements of any natural disaster, like wind speeds or seismic activity. This helps to analyze their effects on various construction materials which would otherwise have to be collected through extended periods of research.
The Costs of Disasters
Natural calamities can cause a lot of devastation in their wake. With the exacerbated threats of the climate crisis, these are only expected to worsen. The country encountered 22 disasters that amounted to at least $1 billion in damages in the previous year alone.
This only signifies the increasing cost that comes with the current realities we are facing. Hurricane Laura, a category 4 storm that leveled the coast of Louisiana in August is just one instance. This caused $19 billion in damage and 42 deaths.
The previous records only amounted to 16-billion dollar disasters. These were set twice. First in 2011 and then in 2017. Now, it has been shattered by the disasters of 2020 which totaled up to $95 billion along with 261 deaths.
Weathering the Storm
Substantive action is needed if we ever wish to reverse the effects of the climate crisis. Everyone should play a part in reducing their own environmental impact. The most significant steps are more likely to be done by national and local authorities.
The unfortunate reality, however, is that everyone will be left vulnerable until that happens. Quite frankly, there’s still a long way to go before any concrete solutions are made. Effects of those solutions may take years to reverse the state of our world.
The worsening climate is not expected to be restored instantaneously. There’s no doubt that people are doing everything they can to make it happen. For now, the next best thing would be adapting to the elements. That’s why innovating structures to strengthen their integrity also play a key role within the context of the climate crisis.