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Has it really been 11 years since Wilma hit Florida shores?

When you live in Florida, it is hard to keep track of the names for tropical storms and hurricanes. Since 2010 alone, Colin, Joaquin, Erika, Arthur, Andrea, Sandy, Isaac, Debby, Beryl, Lee, Irene, Bret, Nicole, Earl, Bonnie and Alex have all swept through the area.

Of course, a few are easier to remember than others - like Hurricane Hermine. She recently left our beautiful state in disarray when she touched down in the Florida Panhandle. It might make you think, "When was the last time a major hurricane damaged our shores - and our property ?"

Her name was Wilma, and she struck 11 years ago. The drought-free stretch we recently experienced was a rare break from the norm, when 40 percent affect the state (according to the National Hurricane Center and based on data from 1851 through 2010).

You can't prevent all damage, but you should try

Hurricanes come with gale force winds, massive hail and high volumes of rain that falls in minutes. Manmade structures simply can't stand up to these beasts of nature. Damage is inevitable. But to what extent can you blame Hurricane Hermine for the most recent destruction?

As each new storm shows new weaknesses in the materials or ways we build structures and technology improves, building codes are updated. These codes help set minimum standards that developers, contractors and anyone else involved in the construction of residential homes must meet.

Who really cares about building codes anyway?

Building codes are technical, dry and boring -- except to a very small subset of people. You probably are not one of them, and you might never take the time read them, learn their nuances or put any to memory.

Most people see them as a nuisance or a hindrance to the timely completion of a project. That is normal, but they could mean everything when it comes to paying for the damage a storm causes.

When a storm exposes a defect in the construction of a building, homeowners (or their homeowners association) can file a claim for damages - often worth much more than insurance might pay out based on policy terms. Yeah, that's where knowing those boring building codes make a difference.

The construction lawyers Tannenbaum Scro, Attorneys at Law are part of that minute percent of the population who cares to learn every detail about important building codes. With decades of experience behind them, they know how to win construction cases.

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Tannenbaum Scro, P.L.
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