Monthly Archive: February 2020

Impact Resistant Materials – Concrete Masonry

Winds up to 145 miles per hour left thousands homeless after Hurricane Charley tore through Punta Gorda and surrounding cities in Southwest Florida.

This vicious storm claimed 17 lives and has estimated damages in the billions. In and around Punta Gorda, trailers lay toppled or blown apart. Shards of wood and metal lay scattered on lawns.

As tragic as this loss is, it could have been much worse if it were not for the residential building code changes that were instituted after Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Andrew, the most destructive U.S. hurricane on record, blasted its way across south Florida, causing 24 deaths and $26.5 billion in damage -mostly due to high winds.

The magnitude of damage caused by Hurricane Andrew was unprecedented in the United States. Prior to it, there had been a 25-year lull in significant hurricane activity along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, and building codes were not adequate to limit the loss of life and property experienced in Hurricane Andrew.

Today, codes have been strengthened and are being more rigorously enforced. Designers are required to provide a continuous load path to ensure structural integrity and provisions for wind-borne debris are much more stringent.

“Because of Hurricane Andrew and other storms in this area, the residential building codes have become much more specific in Florida,” said Dennis Graber, professional engineer and director of technical publications at the National Concrete Masonry Association. “By conforming to these codes, houses were better able to withstand the onslaught of Hurricane Charley.” The National Hurricane Center notes that building codes reflect the lessons experts have learned from past catastrophes and suggest that homeowners in hurricane areas contact local building code officials to find out which requirements are necessary for home improvement projects.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency encourages construction with strong, impact-resistant materials, such as concrete masonry, within homes and other structures located in hurricane-prone areas.

Macadamia Nuts

Macadamia nuts are commonly eaten alone or as part of a nut mix. They are also used for baking various types of cookies. Almost all macadamia nuts are grown in Australia and then exported around the world. They grow on trees and the nuts are picked by hand. Since the 1880’s people have been enjoying eating these delicious types of nuts.

They are now grown in areas of Hawaii as well. However, this was the result of main made cultivating and not a natural place for them to grow. Many people find it ironic that macadamia nuts can grow in Hawaii as almost all of their food items have to be imported. They are often an item that people enjoy while relaxing on the various islands of Hawaii.

Starting out the trees to grow macadamia nuts is quite a process. It can take them between 7 and 10 years before they begin to form nuts that can be picked. Yet those trees that are healthy enough to produce them can do so for about 100 years. This is why many cultivators of macadamia nuts continue to plant new trees. They know there will be an increased demand for them. They also want to be able to meet that demand while the new trees are in that period where they don’t produce.

Some individuals have an allergic reaction to the oil from macadamia nuts. They can result in their face and hands swelling up if they come into contact with it. There is also the risk of their airway being cut off if they consume these nuts. Many species of dogs are also allergic to macadamia nuts so you should avoid sharing them with your best pal.

You can purchase macadamia nuts with the brown shell still on them. Many people enjoy them in this form. They have to crack the shell with a nutcracker and then remove it. You can also buy them without the shell and just get the white or light tan color of nut. This is a great way to be able to enjoy the macadamia nuts without all the trouble. You can buy them at most stores and they will stay good for a very long time.