Chesapeake, Virginia - Hurricane House

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Release date: 
September 3, 1999
Release Number: 

The Hurricane House will be on display when the Tidewater Builders Association presents its annual Homearama Event at the Estates of Carriage House, a new single-family community in Chesapeake, VA.

Chesapeake, VA -- A house built to withstand a hurricane will be a featured part of a major builders show here, inspired by the efforts of FEMA Region III. The show, the 1999 Tidewater Builders Association Homearama, consists of a new single-family development in Chesapeake called Estates Carriage House.

The show will be open to the public from from noon until 10 p.m. daily, Oct. 2 through Oct. 16 . The show will close at 6 p.m. on Oct. 17, the final day.

Background Information

The idea of including a Hurricane-safe house in the development stems from a FEMA-sponsored Wind Summit in September 1998 held under the direction of Robert J. Gunter, Director of the Region III Response and Recovery Division. Mr. Gunter was the Federal Coordinating Officer for Hurricane Bonnie, which lashed the Tidewater area with heavy rains, high winds and flooding between Aug. 25 and Sept. 1, 1998. To date, FEMA has distributed almost $10 million to the victims of Hurricane Bonnie.

In response to the ravages of Hurricane Bonnie, mitigation team members of the Virginia Department of Emergency Service and FEMA met with building and community officials in the affected areas. Based on the concerns raised at these meetings, the officials identified measures to mitigate wind damage.

Chesapeake vs The Hurricanes

The hurricane-safe house project is very much in tune with Project Impact, FEMA's pre-disaster mitigation initiative. FEMA Director James Lee Witt started Project Impact to help reduce the enormous disaster-recovery costs by encouraging communities to find partners in their attempts to become more disaster-resistant.

The City of Chesapeake recognized the need to protect residents and property from the continuing threat of devastating storms. City officials chose to act in advance, and not just react after a disater. While Chesapeake is not officially a Project Impact Community, city officials have adopted the Project Impact concept. Building disaster-resistant communities is a nationwide initiative involving citizens, government officials, businesses and the media dedicated to making their communities disaster-resistant. The City of Chesapeake took the common-sense approach based on these three principles:

  1. Taking preventive actions at the local level,
  2. Inviting participation of the private sector, and;
  3. Taking the initiative to commit to long-term efforts and investments in prevention measures against disasters.

Chesapeake put together a team devoted to reaching the goal of achieving a disaster-resistant community.

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Last Updated: 
March 5, 2013 - 18:08
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