Florida Banking December 2023

high winds from taking out the community’s solar powered energy supply. These systems and high, storm focused building standards helped Babcock Ranch emerge from Ian virtually unscathed. 7 One caveat to this inspiring success story: the development is 30 miles inland. Homes and businesses closer to the coast can certainly benefit from the Babcock Ranch strategy, but rising sea levels will make close proximity to the water increasingly more problematic. Cutting-edge technology and outside-the-box thinking will be needed to maintain Florida’s well deserved position as a coveted place in which to live and do business, but above all else, having a sound emergency response plan remains essential for businesses and community developers. A thorough emergency response plan is too detailed to fully cover here, but here are some key elements to have in scope in mitigation planning: Pre-storm planning In advance of hurricane season, a detailed plan for actions to take long before a storm hits should be developed. This plan should include, but not be limited to: • Verifying needed equipment and supplies are available and in good condition. • Verifying roofing company contracts other critical vendor contracts for emergency repairs are up to date. • Scheduling inspections of building roofs, rooftop equipment, walls, windows and doors. • Verifying emergency generator testing, fueling and maintenance are current. • Inspecting and testing any dewatering pumps. • Verifying shutters and

even a Category 4 or 5 event. While high winds can be deadly and devastating on their own, hurricanes really become catastrophic when those winds result in water penetrating a building envelope or compromising its foundation. Storm surge flooding is especially calamitous when it breaches building entrances, windows and walls. Heavy storm surge flooding can even knock a building off its foundation. There is a wide array of techniques, tools and technology available to reduce the impacts of the “twin terrors” of wind and water. They include, but are not limited to: • Identifying potential exposures to damage from high winds and water inundation. • Using a qualified, experienced engineering firm to design seawalls to help protect building foundations and structures from damage caused by waves. • Following Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) FORTIFIED Commercial™ construction standards. (More information is available at fortifiedhome.org/fortified commercial.) • Installing flood gates or flood barrier systems. • Installing sump pumps to remove water that passes flood barrier systems. • Relocating fuel pumps outside of tank dikes that can fill with rainwater. • Designing building walls to resist pressure from waterborne debris. • Ensuring primary and secondary roof drainage is working up to capacity. • Housing, rather than simply tying down rooftop

Hurricane Resilience, Continued on page 24

installation hardware are ready and staff is trained for installation. • Establishing procedures with local authorities for accessing or reentering sites after a hurricane or storm. • Establishing backup communication procedures for staff and other business operations. • Determining essential electrical loads for the building and verifying they are connected to an emergency power system. Addressing wind and water exposures As the Babcock Ranch example shows, buildings can be designed to withstand most of the impacts of a hurricane —


• Residential (including NW Condos) or Commercial • Performing or Non-Performing (delinquency < 18 months) • UPBs of $200K to $6 Million

Bruce Maguire Managing Director




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