Report Number




Buildings; Disaster Planning


Hurricanes, floods, tornados and earthquakes create natural disasters that can destroy homes, businesses and the natural environment. Such disasters can happen with little or no warning, leaving hundreds or even thousands of people without medical services, potable water, sanitation, communications and electrical services for up to several weeks. The 2004 hurricane season ravaged the State of Florida, U.S.A., with four major hurricanes within a 6-week timeframe. Over nine million people evacuated their homes and damage to property was extensive.

One proactive strategy to minimize this type of destruction and disruption to lives is the implementation of disaster-resistant buildings that are functional and operational. This approach uses the best energy-efficient buildings, fortified to the latest codes, and incorporates renewable energy systems. Businesses, government facilities and homes benefit from using photovoltaics to power critical items. This concept is a mitigation tool to reduce damage and cost of the destructive forces of hurricanes and other disasters. This past season's experience showed that buildings designed and built to the latest standards with photovoltaic and solar thermal systems survived with little damage and continued to perform after the storm passed. Even following a disaster, energy conservation and use of renewables promotes energy assurance while allowing occupants to maintain some resemblance of a normal life.

Date Published



Presented at ISES/Solar World Congress 2005, Orlando, Florida USA, August 8-11, 2005

Local Subjects

Buildings; Disaster Planning


FSEC Energy Research Center® Collection



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In Copyright