Here in Lee County they use sort of a hybrid code, geared specifically for
Its rooted in the FBC but has many added rules.
The FEMA parameters take precedent.
This whole code thing is getting to be out of control.
Its to the point now that most people design the building and then submit
for a permit and let the plans examiner determine what works and what
I've dotted every I and crossed the T's and still get rejected.
Its a good thing computers came along when they did because it would be very
difficult to do a set of plans by hand, with all the notes and details and
stuff that are required.
As expected, the gov't staggered around like a drunken giant and the
citizenry got stuff done on its own.
Common people working as individuals and teams to clear the roads, clean the
homes and get the power back up.
The street intersections with no traffic signals and NO cops ran the
The intersections with cops directing traffic were clogged continuously.
During a disaster the very last thing people need underfoot are groups of
braindead, unaccountable gov't employees stumbling around.
Less than 50 cubic feet, but not much less.
If you stored it under the bed,
the bed would have to be 32" high, plus the mattress.
It would also weigh in excess of one US statute ton,
so you might want to spread it around a bit.
Dinty Moore Beef stew is 222 calories/cup,
so you need 10 cups/day. Since it comes in cans,
there's wasted space to the tune of an extra 25%
so the storage volume is 12.5 cups/day or
around 10 days/cubic foot, for food.
Counting the wasted space, water is around
7 gallons/cubic foot. with around, .4cuft
Figure 2000 calories/day, and 1 gallon of water.)
Use the space between cans and bottles for
vitamin supplements, other drugs, variety-food)
Each of your 1,800 cups of stew weighs
236 grams, or around 1/2 a pound,
call it 1,000 pounds of stew and can.
Each of your 180 gallons of water
weighs 8 1/3 pounds or 1500 pounds,
Note that you can probably get your food
volume/weight down if you work at it,
but most of the really lightweight/small
packaged foods depend on having a ready
supply of water to re-constitute.
Rumor has it that eating a dehydrated
ration without rehydrating it FIRST is really,
really bad. As in, may well kill you bad.
Jeez, 10 cups a day?
I'd be as big as a whale if I ate all that stuff! LOL
During the 5 days of Charley last year I ate very little, maybe 2 or 3 cold
chicken breasts and 3 or 4 cold sandwiches.
But I was drinking about 4 gallons of water a day, at least.
(I rigged a 220v jumper to my generator to charge the well equipment each
day. Our aerator holds 80 gallons)
The thing is, we were waiting on the edge of our seats for the power to come
back on the whole time. We were hearing on the radio the power was coming
back on in various parts of the city each day and it took a full 5 days to
restore ours. So the whole time we were sort of in turmoil, not knowing what
was going on. If we knew we'd be without power for a month or more we would
have done things differently. We had one generator but we had to use it
sparingly cause we couldn't get fuel. For a long term endeavor I'd probably
get a 2nd generator and then drive long distance to get some serious
quantities of fuel. Also, I didn't take the storm warning too seriously
(Charley made a last minute change of course and headed straight for us 3
hours prior to impact) so I was cash poor at the time and with the power out
all over the city I couldn't access any funds. The stores that were open
were accepting cash only as their equipment was down. Next time I'll have at
least $1000 cash on me.
The very center of Charley passed about 4 miles to the west of us, right up
through the Pine Island Sound and then straight up the Peace River to Punta
Gorda / Port Charlotte, so we were right on the worst edge. And yes, it does
sound like what you'd imagine a freight train sounds like. You can't really
appreciate the magnitude of 150mph wind and 300 mph microbursts by watching
it on TV, it has to be felt in person. Its a little overwhelming to realize
the very earth is attempting to kill you. LOL
I'm not a survivor nut just a Cosco, BJ, Sams kind a guy. Food really not
much space, but water is a lot, but you can cut water if using a lot of
canned foods (because of water). I keep lots of dried legumes, nuts and
fruits. I also pick up cases of ensure and power bars when on sale. But
don't laugh I actually have a river next to the house... The water is for
the little woman. I got my filtration pac.
I use 1/2 Gal. perday this is good for heat of summer. I have 20 5 gallon
and 10 1 gallon and 6 32 bottle cases. With all the food and gear 12 foot
wide by 36" deep and 8 foot high. It takes up one small wall.
The water is really no problem I get it delivered, plus we don't use tap
here many years ago it was great but the last 10 heavy chlorination. and
normal daily use is pretty consistent with morning coffee to 1 G.
There's a big clue whenever you see news shots of the flooded city.
What structures are still standing, almost completely untouched?
The big apartment buildings.
Just build multistory buildings, and put all essential building
utilities on the second floor or higher. Let the bottom floor have only
easily repaired interiors and utilities. Connect the second floors
of the buildings using a system of walkways just like in Minneapolis.
You could even build the walkways open air, using the wrought iron
balcony style popular for Mardi Gras in New Orleans. This would make
the city a fun place to visit.
Essentially this is the "house on stilts" idea but on a big enough scale
you could house a population of 500,000 in a densely populated area.
For car storage some buildings would use the lower 3 or 4 stories for
car parks. Again, visit Minneapolis to see this sort of structure.
You'd need fewer cars since this would be a densely populated area with
lots of people able to walk to work.
This is the future.
Of course, this doesn't fit in with the real estate agent / developer
scenaria where every American is isolated on his own lot with 2 acres of
grass to mow every weekend. That's going to prove economically
non-viable when fuel prices rise, anyway.
A forgotten tecnique for lumber framing and putting on plywood and
waferboard is to toe nail. Nails driven straight into end grain don't
hold diddly. When you angle all stud wall nails, the holding power is
much greater. The same with sheeting. If all of the nails are driven in
at the same angle, you can knock it out with your hands, and the nails
will still be in the sheet. When the nails are driven in at opposing
angles, the only way to get a sheet back off is to destroy the sheet
because the nails will pull through the sheet, and not come off with
Except that this is largely irrelevant when it comes to installing
sheathing. The main force that sheathing needs to resist is shear, not
withdrawal. And nailing at an angle can reduce the ability to resist
shear, not increase it.
And big office buildings.
And big hospitals.
And big hotels.
And big police stations are also all standing.
1970s style megastructures. Yeehah!
But really, your idea of putting essential building utilities on the
above the water line in floods is one I had before (re: thread titled
"why don't they" on alt.architecture.
I suggested it for certain buildings that are of importance during
catastrophes - hospitals in particular. They are often full of people
who are in various states of disability who would have difficulty
evacuating or may not survive evacuation. Furthermore, hospitals should
be up and running during natural disasters and other catastrophes in
order to be used by those suffering injury during the natural disaster.
In retrospect, it would be a good idea, though not as crucial, for fire
stations and police stations to have the same hurricane resistance and
auxiliary power systems as the hospitals. That way first responders can
better do their jobs.
But doing it for every apartment building? Very excessive. Unless the
people who choose to live in apartment buildings want it and the people
leasing apartments can sell it.
I shudder to think of the poor old woman stuck on the 17th floor,
surrounded by gangs of roaming youths who are ready to break in at any
This is what happens when you ignore peoples' desires for open space and
the privacy of private homes and cram them into giant megastructures
where the identity of their home is reduced to a mere number on a door.
Just go over to Yahoo and do a search for "Housing Projects, Chicago" -
you'll see what I mean.
People use their cars.
And Katrina showed us just how vital cars are to the evacuation of
cities. Simply put, if you were in New Orleans and could get a car out,
you were MUCH better off than you would have been if you were one of the
thousands who didn't have a car or a spot in someone else's car.
Access to transportation was really the issue in New Orleans; not
directly socio-economics or race. The rich new urbanist yuppie lawyer
who refused to drive on principal was stuck in New Orleans. (He was
interviewed on NPR) The cabbie who recently arrived from Pakistan and
works 18 hours a day 6 days a week so his family can live at the poverty
level could use his cab to get out of the city. (I saw him driving down
the road in Houston right after I heard the first guy's interview on the
No it's not.
Bullshit. And I know what you're saying is bullshit because if you
visit France, or Spain, or Germany, you'll see people living in private
suburban houses and driving cars to and from work. Meanwhile they
snicker when America goes into crisis over $3 a gallon prices at the
pump, because that's what they've been paying all along. In fact, many
Europeans pay significantly more than that for gas, and it hasn't
dampened their desire for comfortable, private, individual houses.
Their entire nation of Holland is like the city of New Orleans - below
sea level and prone to very nasty storms and floods. It's also a nation
with all of the high fuel prices and gas taxes as the rest of Europe.
But the Dutch haven't abandoned private houses and cars - they've
In certain flood prone areas it is already requird by code. Has been for a
number of years in some places. It is js ut common sense if you are prone
to flooding either on the coast or the banks of a river. Houses in Florida
and the New Jersey shore have been rasied on pilings for the same reason.
Every building? Yes, but for many it makes a lot of sense. In some areas
there are even basement apartments that are about six feet below grade.
Makes for some interesting things in the bathtub when plumbing problems
Las Vegas is using elevated walkways to avoid traffic. It can easily be used
in other areas too. Well, maybe not always easily, but it is not a bad
Maybe. In New York it is common to leave a car parked or "stored" for weeks
at a time. Parking, storeage, just variations on termonology.
Several posts refered to placing utilities several floors above ground
In the city of Providence (Rhode Island for those of you who don't
know) Many buildings in the down town area have thier Electric Rooms two
to three stories above street level. One example is Rhode Island
Hospital.Many other high rise office buildings have done the same.
I can't be sure of the dates but I think it was 1938 and 1954 (Carol)
both storms flooded the city . Some buildigs have plaques showing the
high water marks, some where around 15 feet ?
Providence also has an untested Hurricane barrier consisting of two
large flood gates and a pump house containg two pumps at the mouht of
the Providence river. The idea is to close the gates to keep the storm
surge out of the river and the pumps are supposed to pump out the risig
water.There is also a series of levees and flood gates that close off
streets to from a giant sea wall .
Some of us <like> a little isolation. Not all of us can stand to live in a
beehive, or care to live in densely populated areas. Not slamming people
that like that lifestyle, but the times I've had to live in structures like
that (ie, college dorms, big-city apartment blocks), I found it highly
irritating. I don't wanna hear when the neighbors flush, fight, or f**k, and
I don't wanna irritate the neighbors when I turn up the TV loud. I also like
sitting quietly on the back porch at dawn, trying to be still enough that
the birds will come to the feeder while I am on 'their' side of the glass.
Can't do that in a high-rise, or even in most condos. Suburbia has its
downsides of course- mowing/raking/snow shoveling being 3 of them. If I
didn't have to worry about resale, I'd live in a shack on the edge of the
woods. But you have to be well off to live like Thoreau these days.
You know because my girlfirend lives in Monroe, LA she deserves nothing
less than a 15,000 square foor mansion. See my new post asking about
the Richardsonian Romanesque style house since my dream is to build her
(&me) a huge tornado proof mansion if I ever become rich enough. But
all of your ideas are good though.
Cat-5 Hurricane winds start at 155mph.
Tornados start at around 200mph, and
a Cat-5 tornado has wind speeds in excess of 300mph.
Wind loads appear to be calculated according to
the formula PSF=(mph^2)/250, or thereabouts.
So for a worst-case hurricane, you have to design
for side-loads (and uplift) of 160PSF, whereas
for tornadoes, its around 360PSF. For comparison,
the floor of your house is typically designed
for around 60PSF. (Of course the limit for
the floor is acceptable deflection, rather than
yield strength, so if you built your house so that
any face could be the floor, you'd probably be
OK in the hurricane.)
The good news is, if you can manage this,
floodwaters should be trivial, at least in
terms of mechanical damage.
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