On September 8, 1900, the deadliest hurricane in American history made landfall on Galveston Island along the Gulf coast of Texas. The twenty-foot storm surge wiped out entire neighborhoods in one of the nation’s busiest ports. The next day, thousands lay dead.
Ultimately, the storm was a dramatic turning point for the island. Up until that moment, Galveston’s residences and businesses were mostly at sea level. As a result, many homes had become death traps during the storm surge. The islanders learned from their mistake, however.
Galveston residents threw their hearts into the recovery. They created house plans that properly matched their environment. They designed and built a twenty-foot seawall, elevating the entire island in the process. The houses that did survive the storm were raised on stilts to ensure that residents would never again have to face a hurricane’s surge.
Today, we now design homes that protect us during storms and earthquakes, as well as other environmental dangers. Some southern house plans did include a raised first floor so that families could stay safe during storm surges and flash floods. Many homeowners along the Gulf coast eventually followed the standards set by those southern house plans.
Having the right house plans to match one’s environment is essential for safety. If you live on a steep incline, you should find a professional who can create the right hillside house plans for your needs. An unexpected torrential rain could trigger a catastrophic mudslide. On the other hand, if you live in Tornado Alley, you might want to make sure that your house plans include a basement.
Overall, you wouldn’t build a house on quicksand, so why would you equally endanger your family by choosing the wrong house for the wrong environment? In the end, make sure you get an expert to help design the right house for the right environment.