Florida CRE: Long-Term Preparation Pays Off in Wake of Hurricane Irma

Florida has the strongest building codes in the U.S., with construction standards enacted to withstand wind speeds of up to 175 miles per hour or a Category 5 hurricane.

Hurricane Irma, the strongest Atlantic basin hurricane ever recorded outside the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, stretched 650 miles from east to west and affected at least nine U.S. states. The hurricane made its initial landfall in the Florida Keys on Sept. 10 as a Category 3 storm and later made a second landfall at Marco Island on Florida’s west coast, triggering 6.3 million people to evacuate, flooding major cities and leaving millions without power.

Single-family residences bore the brunt of the storm’s destruction, while the state’s office and industrial markets reported minimal damage, according to a comprehensive CBRE report. Both short- and long-term preparation significantly minimized Irma’s impact on commercial properties. Short-term readiness factors included evacuation plans, emergency fuel and power supply arrangements as well as contingency plans. Long-term preparation plans consisted of enhanced building codes and infrastructure readiness that contributed to the state’s ability to withstand and quickly assess the damage. Less than one week after the storm, almost 100 percent of the state’s mainland power grid and infrastructure were operational, minimizing business losses…

Florida CRE: Long-Term Preparation Pays Off in Wake of Hurricane Irma


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