"On August 24, 1992, Hurricane Andrew struck South Florida producing an estimated $20 to $25 billion in damage to a heavily populated area of Dade County in the suburbs south of Miami. The cost of this damage is not, in itself, sufficient to describe what is recognized as the most costly natural disaster in the history of the United States. Hurricane Andrew continued across southern Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and then struck the Louisiana coast causing an additional $1 billion in damage. On September 16, 1992, just 16 days after Andrew, Hurricane Iniki struck a direct blow to the Hawaiian Island of Kauai causing an estimated $1.2 billion in damage. In one hurricane season these two events provided a revealing test of the strength of building construction in the United States. Many facets of the construction process were tested by the severe winds and storm surge, including structural and architectural design, building codes and enforcement, workmanship, building product approvals, and all other aspects affecting the final building product. Also put to the test was home owner preparedness and public policy on acceptable levels of risk. In response to the opportunity to learn from these disasters, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) initiated this unique damage assessment of single-family homes to better understand how different types of residential construction fare under hurricane conditions. The primary goal of this study is to provide an impartial assessment of the damage to singlef amily homes caused by Hurricanes Andrew and Iniki. To this end, over 500 homes in Florida and 160 homes in Kauai were subject to detailed assessment of housing characteristics and damages. Many other homes, including those damaged in Louisiana by Hurricane Andrew, were also observed to capture unique aspects of the housing populations and the damages sustained."
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: https://www.huduser.gov