The government agencies provide better mitigation plans than local communities. With their budget and plans, they will be able to shield Florida from future devastation. The government can minimize the loss of lives as well as the costs of damages following tropical storm strikes by promoting research and publicizing the detrimental effects of hurricanes. For the first half of the 20th century, Florida was hit hardest by hurricanes. Locals started taking more precautions toward this natural phenomenon, but as decades went by, the damages left behind by the last tropical storm dissipated from their minds.
Nature had not disturbed Florida until 1992 when Hurricane Andrew struck. Before Hurricane Andrew, protection against storms was minimal. The roofs on top of the buildings offered little shielding. Buildings could be blown away by strong winds, let alone hurricanes. Evacuations were nearly impossible when a storm stirred up. Florida proved to be one of the most hazard-prone areas. Therefore, it is extremely crucial for the state to implement safety plans to deal with the consequences following natural disasters.
There is a list of mitigation plans that communities can use to limit the costs of dealing with disasters. Hospitals can be built in hazard-prone areas to provide health care for those whose lives are in danger. Businesses should be discouraged from being built in hazardous zones. Certain homes and buildings are limited to minimize damage as much as possible. The public should be notified of the dangers of living in their homes if they live in a zone where hurricanes hit frequently.
Hurricane Andrew devastated Florida’s economy tremendously in August 1992. The tropical storm cost the United States $25-$30 billion and gained the title as the most expensive natural disaster in U.S. history.
It destroyed nearly 63,000 homes, damaged another 100,000 homes, and left 250,000 people homeless. Much action could have been done to prevent this. After the hurricane, the Laboratory for Structural Mitigation ordered that roof sheathing panels must be constructed in every home because it protects homes from the pressure of the winds. The International Hurricane Research Center also conjured up many disciplines to mitigate the damages, including architecture, finance, insurance, and urban planning. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) decided to hike up the insurance rate for hazard-prone areas because their argument was that people should pay the price of living in high-risk areas.
After Hurricane Andrew, much research was conducted on hurricanes. The research provided information on how to design homes that will best shield the interior. More information was given about development that leads to hurricane loss reduction devices” and other techniques to counter the disaster. One such example is the creation of hurricane traps that will allow homes to maximize property loss. The Residential Construction Mitigation Program focused on educating the public on hurricanes through public education programs, continuous research to develop new mitigation techniques, and encouraging homeowners to better shield their homes.
Although all of this was done by different programs, it is not enough to save lives and reduce the amount of damage caused. The governor has addressed this issue by creating training seminars for volunteers to prepare for potential future disasters. Governor Jeb Bush has also emphasized the importance of being prepared for a storm by providing the public with access to hurricane information. The public is aware of the damage that hurricanes can cause and knows the routes they can take to ensure their safety, such as evacuating or following building codes.
It is not a matter of intruding on privately owned lands; it is a matter of safety and protection. Governmental agencies should have the right to regulate the use of privately owned lands in hazard-prone areas. It is in the government’s best interest to limit the costs of damages as well as protect the lives of the people. The government has the power to dramatically reduce future hurricane damages. They have the money to fund different kinds of programs. They have the right to build new buildings that are able to withstand the strength of an upcoming disaster and have the ability to make improvements to old buildings.
The government can transform some of the buildings into instant shelters for the people. They have the means to encourage safe building codes for homeowners and contractors. Since the government owns the roads and highways, they can improve them for easier evacuations when the time calls for it.