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Storm Chaser works to build a home that can withstand category five hurricane winds

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Storm chaser Josh Morgerman, also known as iCyclone, says he’s been in more than 60 tropical cyclones in his lifetime. Now he’s on a mission to build a home that can withstand category five hurricane winds in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

The Gulf Coast knows all too well the devastation a hurricane can create. Over the past four decades, tropical cyclones have hit the United States, causing an average of more than $22 billion in damage, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Morgerman called Bay St. Louis Ground Zero for hurricanes. The city has been devastated by storms such as Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Camille.

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Storm Chaser Josh Morgerman stands in front of his hurricane proof home. (Photo by Mr. M. R. Bowen Kedrowicz)

“I’ve seen this happen many times in buildings and in homes during hurricanes. It’s all good until a window breaks and the wind comes in, and it’s like a balloon it goes into. and starts to take its toll and maybe blow the roof,” Morgerman said.

To protect against high winds, Morgerman partnered with Paramount Contracting to secure the home from all angles.

“Making sure the frame of the house is bolted to the foundation and making sure the roof is bolted to the top plate, those are really important things. And really focusing on those connection points with straps with clips and using lots of them, it’s just a simple thing anyone can do,” Morgerman said.

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Metal reinforcement clips

Metal reinforcement clips are attached from the frame of the house to the top plate to secure the house together.

The exterior of the house has a metal roof rated for winds over 200 miles per hour. Josh says the house sits 23 feet above sea level, which he says will allow him to protect his home from flooding from storm surges.

Paramount Contracting contractor Beau Ladner said building resilient homes is growing in popularity.

“It’s starting to get more popular because of insurance prices,” Ladner said. “People are starting to stand out and say, hey if I do this, I can save 30% on my insurance. I can spend four or five grand now and save 30% over the life of my house.”

Federal Alliance for Safe Homes President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson said the cost of building a resilient home only increases by one percent or less depending on the products used.

Interior of a hurricane proof home

The interior of the hurricane resistant house uses a wooden frame which is attached to the top plate and the foundation. (Fox News/Bowen Kedrowicz)

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“He’s building a house, and he’s using the highest standards in our country to do it. We’re really happy to see him getting the word out about the importance of that. If a house is proof hurricanes, time will tell. But if any home has a chance of being hurricane-proof or hurricane-proof, this one does,” Chapman-Henderson said.

Construction of the Morgerman home is expected to be completed in the fall. Morgerman said no matter what storm the Gulf Coast throws up next, he’ll weather it in his hurricane bunker.

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