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Should ASCE convene an external review panel to assess the damage along Florida's west coast and develop recommendations on how to mitigate? The images that have been published are both overwhelming and tragic. An official assessment would allow the civil engineering community to learn from the tragedy that unfolded and give the profession a fighting chance to improve design practices as well as shed light on existing building codes and where changes are needed. Convening an external review panel would follow the model example after Hurricane Katrina. In my mind, this is what engineering leadership is all about.
Mitch, as I was reading about the Hurricane Ian damages and aftermaths – came to learn about the fate of six dome-shaped houses built 300 ft offshore of Cape Romano in Florida in 1982. Once dubbed as a model solution to the effects of Sea Level Rise – the houses were doomed and submerged by the onslaught of Hurricane winds and Storm Surge.
Again, hope that more will share first-hand experiences on Hurricane Ian damages, and on the Dome-shaped houses in water.
Dr. Dilip K Barua, PhD
While we are waiting to see if the Society will activate a task force to review the damage from Hurricane Ian I want to share an insightful video I came across from the APA on lateral load paths. https://www.apawood.org/lateral-load-path-basics. The focus of the video is on residential wood frame construction and design to resist wind loads. The video highlights in very descriptive detail the vulnerability of the common wood frame house to wind loads. It also shows the relatively simple steps that can be taken to make sure everything is well connected to ensure a robust and reliable transfer of load from the walls and roof to the foundation. I also discovered that FEMA has a two-volume set of construction manuals. See Vol 1 and Vol 2. All in all, this tells me we know as a profession how to properly design wood frame houses to resist wind loading, within limits.
Disaster Recovery: A Local Government Responsibility
Regardless of community size or the nature of the disaster, local government leaders are responsible for overseeing all four phases of emergency management-preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation. Federal and state governments play a supporting role in the immediate aftermath and in providing funding and guidance for long-term recovery and mitigation. This article examines how local leaders can best prepare their communities in the area of first response.
Perhaps – another approach would be to apply the principle of ONTOLOGY – a philosophical term referring, originally to the discourses on the state of a certain existence. It's being applied to systematically synthesize and summarize the factors and causes of such existences. A group known as Ontology Based Engineering (OBE) is even launched to promote Ontological approach in engineering problem definitions, solution identifications and consequences assessments.
In scientific applications – Ontology is defined as (NAP 26755): an explicit, formal specification of a shared conceptualization – a systematic set of shared terms and an explication of their interrelationships.
The Human Impact of Floods: a Historical Review of Events 1980-2009 and Systematic Literature Review
Shannon Doocy,* Amy Daniels, Sarah Murray, and Thomas D. Kirsch*
Floods are the most common natural disaster and the leading cause of natural disaster fatalities worldwide.