Hurricane Andrew slammed into southeast Florida on August 24, 1992 at 5 a.m. with wind gusts in excess of 175 mph. Several days after the storm, Mr. McCarthy joined a team of experts that was assembled to evaluate hurricane damage to commercial buildings. Mr. McCarthy, an instrument rated pilot, flew the team into Homestead General Airport under a special FAA permit many times over the following months until the program was completed. In addition, McCarthy was retained by several insurance companies to evaluate numerous commercial buildings in South Florida immediately following Hurricane Andrew. We gained valuable knowledge about the effects of hurricanes on buildings that could never be learned otherwise.
Since that time, McCarthy has offered hurricane analysis and design consulting services to numerous governmental, institutional, commercial, and private agencies.
These services include:
- Assessment of buildings for potential hurricane damage.
- Recommendation of strengthening means to harden existing buildings.
- Evaluation of buildings that have sustained high wind damage.
- Design of new buildings to resist wind forces up to Category V storms and higher.
- Design of new hurricane shelters or “enhanced hurricane protection areas.
- Design of new emergency operation centers (EOC).
- Informative presentations to agencies involved in public safety.
Structural engineers are rarely given the opportunity to have their designs load-tested to maximum limits and beyond. McCarthy experienced that test when hurricane Ivan crossed the Cayman Islands in 2004 with wind speeds up to 170 mph, which far exceeded code requirements. All but one of the buildings that we had designed over the prior 15 years survived the storm with little or no damage. We are pleased to bring that level of expertise to all of our projects.