The Role of Steel Structures in Natural Disasters

The world continues to reel from natural disasters – from runaway fires to hurricanes. The most recent event, Tropical Cyclone Idai, has been cited as one of the worst cyclones on record to affect Africa. The damage to property in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi was devastating with over 800 people lost and hundreds missing. In these uncertain times, we want to ensure that our homes and buildings stand the best chance of surviving natural disasters; and for this, we turn to steel.

Can Steel Benefit us During Natural Disasters?

It must be said that there is very little that can stand up to the phenomenal force of a tornado or the shattering effects of an earthquake. Steel framed buildings may be the strongest that we can build, but even these have their limits. 

However, all is not lost. Here is what steel can offer in the face of a natural disaster.

High Winds

During a hurricane or tornado, it’s the powerful winds which cause the most damage. The force of the uplift from these weather phenomena can flip off the roof of a building with ease. A steel roofing system with a secondary reinforcing frame will go a long way towards keeping the roof on during these storms. 

Flooding

Weather systems such as cyclones lash our buildings with a tremendous amount of water. A solid foundation on a steel framed building may lose its interior, but the strong and anti-corrosive steel elements are more likely to stay in place for rebuilding. 

Fire

A raging fire can consume everything in its path. IN the event of a wildfire, steel benefits us in two ways: steel is non-combustible, so not only will it not burn, but neither will it facilitate the spread of the fire. A steel framed house that is gutted by fire can be rebuilt. 

While we all hope that we never have to endure a terrifying natural disaster, we feel that being well prepared for any eventuality will always stand us in good stead. 

Yes, steel is your first choice for constructing long-lasting buildings.

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