NJ builder says it’s possible to hurricane-proof your house
A hurricane-proof house in New Jersey? Some say a hurricane-resistant structure is actually doable, and has been done.
Pat Miller runs Blue Diamond Construction in Jackson. Miller says you can build a hurricane-resistant home but a builder can never guarantee that Mother Nature won't tear it apart.
She says they built a hurricane-resistant home in Keansburg in 2015.
"We design the home, typically like a commercial building, and we put it within a residential environment," she said.
Miller says it's a structurally-framed metal building with exterior sheeting and roof of what's known as "engineered plywood." The Keansburg home is also flood-resistant.
"It is picking the right contractors, the right architects, people who understand metal and the current products available for storms," she said.
"We went further with this particular home in Keansburg. We included some specialty glass in the widows. We use impact resistant glass, which is nice because this house was within a mile of the open water in Keansburg."
But she says there has not been much interest in this construction type in Jersey post-Sandy.
"I think that what we have to resort back to is just people not having accurate information. In general, people are creatures of habit. They are just not informed, they do not know about it, and they just continue to build the way it has always been built."
Officials in Washington, however, seem to be leaning toward Miller's way of thinking. In the aftermath of Hurricane Michael this month, FEMA Administrator Brock Long last week voiced his frustration over the damage in Florida caused by insufficient building codes.
"It's frustrating to us because we repeat this cycle over and over again," Long said.
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5