Hurricane Michael made landfall on October 10, 2018, near Panama City, Florida, with sustained winds of approximately 160 mph. Winds speeds of such magnitude are enough to collapse structures and cause major damage. Maximum wind speeds near the landfall area were at or above the state’s current design standards, significantly testing building construction in the Florida Panhandle.
Post-event observations reinforced the concept that typical building codes are not designed to prevent all losses and that extra measures beyond standard code requirements are necessary to further mitigate damages.
The IBHS damage assessment team assessed structural performance of 186 residences. While there were few FORTIFIED homes in the path of Hurricane Michael, examinations show the effectiveness of constructing homes to code-plus standards—such as the IBHS FORTIFIED Home™ program or the Habitat for Strong Residences program (a part of Habitat for Humanity International).