How Florida Is Designed to Withstand Hurricane Season
With Hurricane Season in full sight, we've noticed that the infrastructure surrounding our South Florida location is masterfully designed to withstand hurricanes. This year’s Atlantic Hurricane Season began at the start of the Summer (June 1) and will run until the edge of Winter (November 30). In this time frame, the United States can anticipate 12 tropical storms, 9 hurricanes of lower strengths, and 3 major hurricanes. Hurricanes often create a ripple effect that is felt by all states along the East Coast of the United States. Florida has earned a reputation as always being in the eye of hurricane season and for good reason! Of all 50 States, Florida is ranked as the top state to experience frequent and severe hurricanes.
This season, we’re proud to be able to support our community with our portable power products. We keep power necessities such as cam lock panels, generator extension cables, and power distribution spider boxes in stock and ready to ship during emergency situations. We also offer expert advice to help you select the best equipment for your needs. In this article, we will analyze South Florida’s history of hurricanes and how the area’s unique infrastructure is explicitly designed to combat these storms.
What Makes Florida So Prone to Hurricanes?
Hurricanes are colossal storms that form over warm tropical waters. Wind and warm water temperatures are key components for hurricanes to form. Ocean waters evaporate and rise, cooling as they climb the atmosphere and blowing into circular patterns that can begin to spiral around the eye of the storm. Florida sits close to 2,000 miles north of the equator while winds traveling west drag storms toward land. You could say that Florida’s warm tropical climate is the perfect environment for hurricanes to thrive.
Since 1850, Florida has seen hundreds of hurricanes. Some of which, including the infamous Miami hurricane of 1926, demolished the area and caused over one hundred million dollars in damage while taking hundreds of lives. With these recurring disturbances, it was vital that Florida evolved to better withstand the menacing storm and evade the damage that it brings.
Specialized Infrastructure to Survive Hurricane Season
At first glance, modern-day Florida may appear to be ordinary. However, there is more than meets the eye. From underground electrical systems to specially designed buildings, the entire region has evolved to withstand hurricanes. Local building codes and state-mandated hurricane barriers, storm drains, and advanced weather monitoring systems work to keep cities safe and functional when a hurricane strikes.
In 2002, Florida began to enforce a state-wide building code to lower property damage from storms. The code calls for housing to be made from poured concrete and architecture designed for wind resistance. Certain areas that are in a high-velocity zone are also required to implement lab-tested windows, doors, and eaves to endure flying debris.
In 2021, a condominium complex in Surfside, Florida collapsed due to failing to meet safety codes and killed 98 people. The condominium had been built over 40 years prior to the collapse and would not have met the code for present-day buildings. According to the NAHB, residential buildings across the state constructed after 1994 are much less likely to accrue significant damage than those that were built before.
Hurricanes generate large, choppy surf and ocean conditions that cause storm surges inland. Varying levels of surge barriers are put into place to disrupt wave formations and halt rising tides. Barrier islands are large formations of sand that cause friction underneath waves, breaking up their strength and momentum. Underwater ecosystems are another first defense against storm surges. Natural habitats such as mangroves, coral reefs, and marshes all work together to break up and absorb any residual surges that the islands were not able to conquer.
Florida has widespread stormwater management plans that act to manage floods caused by excessive rain, reducing pollutants and property damage. Storm drains are commonplace across the state and effectively drain rainwater to be managed in underground sewage systems.
Almost half of Florida’s power grid is underground and the state aims to have 90% of future grid expansion installed underground. Underground power lines are much less susceptible to falling trees and flying debris, making them more reliable than above-ground power lines. However, underground power is not immune to these storms. They’re more likely than above-ground power to incur damage from flooding and can take much longer to repair.
Expect the Unexpected During Hurricane Season
Don’t wait until your lights go out, you can always count on ATI to provide you with top-tier portable power equipment. All our electrical products are factory-tested before we ship them, so you can trust that they’ll perform safely and provide you with the dependable power distribution that you need. Shop our Power Distribution Equipment and Generator Cable Assemblies today to stay prepared.
Our team of Portable Power Experts is available to offer you expert advice on which products you should equip yourself with this hurricane season. From power distribution units to replacement lugs on generator pigtails, we have everything that you need!
If you would like expert advice on what equipment you need this hurricane season or would like to receive a free quote, please contact our Portable Power Experts at PPG@ATIelectrical.com or call us today at (800)-597-9311.