RMC Foundation: Post-Katrina study instructive in Sandy aftermath

Sources: RMC Research and Education Foundation, Silver Spring, Md.; CP staff

As the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states continue with clean up and recovery from the “Perfect Storm” of Hurricane Sandy and the front that came from the northwest, insurance industry and building code officials can reference findings from “Coast in the Eye of the Storm–Hurricane Katrina: August 29, 2005.”

Co-funded by the RMC Research & Education Foundation and the Mississippi Concrete Industries Association, the study was conducted by Mississippi State University’s Civil Engineering Department in the fall of 2005 within weeks of the storm. It includes a forensic evaluation of how different building systems withstand catastrophic weather events, including the high winds, projectile damage, storm surge and flooding associated with hurricanes, plus recommendations for strengthening building codes—an important consideration as some areas rebuild.

The study’s findings helped to affect changes in building codes along Mississippi’s coastal region. “The importance of protecting life and property cannot be underscored enough. When changes in building codes and standards can assist in those efforts, it makes sense to rebuild taking the findings of this study under consideration,” said Foundation Executive Director Julie Garbini. “When combined with the work taking place at MIT that illustrates the sustainable properties of concrete, rebuilding with an eye toward protecting life, property and the environment is the most sensible thing to do from both safety and economic standpoints.”

“Coast in the Eye of the Storm” is available in hardcopy or on CD. Additional information on it and other RMC Research & Education-backed reports can be obtained at www.rmc-foundation.org.