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Expert: South Florida building code 'toughest for hurricanes in the world'

How strong are the buildings here at home?
How strong are the buildings here at home? 02:04

MIAMI - When we witness the destruction caused by Hurricane Ian in the Fort Myers area or recall the utter devastation of Hurricane Michael in the Panhandle, it makes you think, "How strong are the buildings here at home?"  

Miami-Dade and Broward are in, what's designated as a "High-Velocity Hurricane Zone."

"As it's related to the South Florida building code, it's the toughest for hurricanes and for wind in the world," said Peter Dyga.  

He is President and CEO of the Associated Builders and Contractors Florida East Coast Chapter.  

"Florida, after Hurricane Andrew, passed a much stronger code and Miami-Dade and Broward went beyond that. 

It's common in South Florida to see buildings constructed of concrete or cinder block instead of wood, which is more common in other places.  

"The level of, I think, of the concrete construction, the re-enforced rebar and the structure is certainly indicative of Florida code and Miami-Dade and Broward code," Dyga said.

And there are some tough regulations here. 

"How many nails you use per square inch or the strength of the strap down and ties on the roof, the strength of the envelope protections, whether they be windows, doors, what not," he noted.

But Dyga says even with tough building standards, mother nature can be tougher. "As strong as Miami-Dade and Broward's code is, a Category 4, borderline 5 storm, is going to do immense destruction even here," Dyga said. 

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