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Designed to Survive: Prepare Your Home to Withstand Storms

February 3, 2021

Kanesa Duncan Seraphin, NOAA’s Hawai’i Sea Grant, Honolulu, HI

Large storms can bring destructive winds, rain, flooding, and storm surge. What materials or designs help your house survive a storm? How can homes be built, or modified, to keep people dry and safe during strong storms? Join University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant educator, scientist, and TV producer, Kanesa Duncan Seraphin, in a hands-on activity to build a cardboard house and engineer storm-resistant features. We’ll talk about how to be prepared for a storm, how engineers design buildings to withstand major destructive forces like earthquakes and tsunamis, and weʻll explore some futuristic architectural design ideas for coastal communities.

Resources to access at home:

» Designs that Survive Storms Activity: This activity has kids building a carboard house and engineering storm-resistant features. It includes a cardboard house template, a make-it-yourself playdough recipe, and more.
» Massachusetts Homeowner’s Handbook for Coastal Preparedness – prep your house for a hurricane
» NOAA Ocean Today video on storm surge (~2 1/2 minutes)
» Traditional Ways of Knowing: Hurricanes article.
» Background information on Natural Hazards (geared toward adult activity facilitators and aligned to OLP/NGSS)
» Sea Grant Homeowners Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards: This includes information on how to prepare your house for a storm and create a family emergency and evacuation plan. Find your state: HI, MA, DE, FL, GA, LA, MI/AL, TX, VA

» Other relevant NOAA Live! Webinars: Getting Prepared for Hurricane Season OR Talking Tornadoes with a Storm Researcher OR Minutes Matter: Nature’s Warning Signs for Tsunami
» Related “Voice of the Sea” video episodes hosted by Kanesa Seraphin:

Designing Future Coastal Communities
Engineering Tsunami Resilience
Hazard and Hurricane Preparedness