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Hazards are present in every realm, and one area of concern is with structural hazards. You may not have the opportunity to select the type of structure that you are in when an emergency occurs. However, if you can, you want to be in the sturdiest environment that is available to you.

Engineered buildings have performed well in most types of emergencies. These are buildings that have been retrofitted. After the events of Hurricane Andrew in Florida, the standard was changed such that any new construction or retrofits must be able to withstand more aggressive conditions. While California does not experience natural disasters such as hurricanes or tornadoes, it is subject to earthquakes — and with earthquakes, you have to have earthquake panels and other precautionary structures. These structural accommodations are specifically engineered for disasters present in the respective geographical area.

The types of damage vary by structure. It is important to consider the difference in hazards between single-family and multi-dwelling homes. Single family homes, depending on when and where they were built, are strapped to the foundations, which is more structurally sound. In California, where you have earthquakes, the wood-framed home tends to move with the earthquake a little bit better than brick or concrete unless the home has rollers underneath. Depending on the codes in your area, multi-unit dwellings may or may not stand up as well, mostly because of their larger size and area.

Want to know how you can develop the best emergency response plan for your business? BERT can help. Contact us for a free consultation today!

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