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Experienced storm chaser shares the meticulous process of building a hurricane-proof home: ‘Everything is fine until one window breaks’

“If any house has a shot at being hurricane resistant or hurricane proof, this one does.”

"If any house has a shot at being hurricane resistant or hurricane proof, this one does."

Photo Credit: Hardie

One seasoned storm chaser is on a new mission: to build a home that can withstand Category 5 hurricane winds in a town he calls ground zero for these storms.

Josh Morgerman, a storm-chaser who has experienced more than 60 tropical cyclones, set out to construct a hurricane-proof home in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, a town that has been hit by a number of devastating hurricanes over the years, including Katrina and Camille. 

Speaking with Fox News, he painted a picture of what happens to a home during a strong storm.

“Everything is fine until one window breaks and the wind gets in, and it’s like a balloon it gets in and starts to sort of like wreak havoc and maybe blow the roof off,” Morgerman told the news outlet.

To create a home that can withstand a Category 5’s winds (157 miles per hour or stronger, according to the National Hurricane Center), he teamed up with a contractor to bolt down the frame to the foundation and ensure that the roof was firmly secured to the top plate. 

“And really focusing on those connecting points with straps with clips and using a lot of them — it’s just a simple thing that anyone can do,” he told Fox News

The outside of his home also has a metal roof rated for winds over 200 miles per hour. Because it sits 23 feet above sea level, it will be safe from storm surge flooding, according to Morgerman (@iCyclone), who shared other details of his building journey on X, formerly known as Twitter.

For instance, as his home neared completion in January 2024, he showed off his window setup.

“A thick plexiglass layer (visible only when the shutters are closed) adds extra protection, and two thick metal bars brace them shut,” he tweeted. “Ain’t no wind getting in this house. Each window takes only a couple minutes to secure.”

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, “Of all recorded weather disasters in U.S. history, tropical cyclones — known as hurricanes when occurring in the North Atlantic, central North Pacific, and Eastern North Pacific Oceans — have caused the most deaths and destruction.” 

From 1980 to August 2023, they resulted in a collective $1.3 trillion in damages and 6,890 deaths. 

And it could get worse, as the majority of climate experts agree that extreme weather events like hurricanes will pick up in frequency and intensity if our planet continues to warm.

Morgerman joins many others in a quest to amp up the potential of hurricane-proof homes. For instance, one company is using plastic waste to create a building material that it says can withstand Category 5 storms. Another company has homes that can withstand winds of up to 190 miles per hour, thanks to a curvilinear shape.

Leslie Chapman-Henderson, president and CEO of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, is all for Morgerman’s hurricane-ready house.

”He’s building a home, and he’s using our nation’s highest standard to do so,” she said, per Fox News. “Whether a home is hurricane-proof, time will tell. But if any house has a shot at being hurricane resistant or hurricane proof, this one does.”

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