August 24, 1992 & Floridas Hurrican Andrew

By: Andrew Stratton

The Category four hurricane hit with winds gusting to speeds of 175 miles per hour, and swells reaching 17 feet in height along the coast. The storm destroyed property and left as many as 250,000 people homeless. Sixty Five people died as a result of the storm, and many more suffered injuries.

The damage left in the wake of the hurricane was devastating. The ferocious storm destroyed or damaged an estimated 600,000 homes and businesses. Water and wind damage were in evidence all over. A great many of the homes located in this area were small mobile homes, and virtually all of them where reduced to rubble. Local roads and highways received damage, and all major utilities experienced major interruptions of service. Local residents of the area were, in some cases, without power, water or, sewage for as much as six months.

The Florida coast was also home to many boats and water craft and insurance claims for damage to these craft amounted to millions.

The social impact of this storm was far-reaching. Many families left the area to rebuild their lives in safer and less volatile locations. A huge effort was made by local authorities and emergency service agencies to provide better methods and technology for the detection, and tracking of such storms. The one good thing that happened as a result of this storm was that it motivated the locals to better prepare themselves for the future.

The economic consequences of this hurricane were felt far and wide. After the storm almost one and a half million people where left without power, some for as long as 6 months. Businesses could not operate or had to move to temporary facilities in an effort to rebuild and recover lost revenues. Many businesses lost financial records, and data that were crucial to the company's operations. The total damage from the storm was estimated at approximately 26 billion dollars.

The residents of the state of Florida where ill prepared for a hurricane of this magnitude. Many were of a generation that had never before experienced such devastation, since the last major storm to hit the area occurred some 30 years before. The need to take precautions in an effort to limit the effects of a natural disaster is essential. Many insurance companies now offer discounted rates to companies that include disaster planning into their standard business plans. It is not possible to be too well prepared.

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