Category Archives: Consulting Services

A hurricane approaches: How safe is your building or facility?

Natural hazards are sources of potential damage. Vulnerability results from the interaction of human activity with natural hazards. By virtue of sheltering the full range of human activity, the built-environment is at risk of sustaining damage when a given community is exposed to the impact of natural hazards. In Florida as a whole, but especially in the coastal regions, vulnerability to hurricanes is the greatest concern.

Vulnerability assessment is a method used to measure the degree of exposure of a building to specific hazards by characterizing possible impacts, and estimating potential damages, which also provides a foundation for risk assessment, and for identifying mitigation measures that can be implemented to reduce the potential for damage from recurring impacts.

If you own or manage a facility that is vulnerable to hurricanes and all you know about how resistant it is to the impact of a hurricane is that is meets the minimum requirements of the building code, there is a high probability that you could see substantial damage, and interruption of function if a major hurricane hits your area. To assess how safe is your facility, and what can be done to reduce the potential for damage from the impact of recurring hurricanes, you could benefit from commissioning a Vulnerability Assessment study that includes recommendations for specific and effective hazard mitigation alternatives you could implement. To learn more about what a Vulnerability Assessment can offer go to the banner Menu above, click on CONSULTING and select Assessment of Vulnerability to Hurricanes; November 1998.

Ricardo A. Alvarez is an expert in the fields of Vulnerability Assessment and Hazard Mitigation having completed hundreds of both types of studies and projects over the past twenty years.   To find out how you could benefit from a Vulnerability Assessment of your facility, and other consulting services, contact Ricardo A. Alvarez directly at or by phone at [305] 332-3664 or [305] 931-0871, or by posting a comment right here on this site right at the end of this posting.

Building Design: the Cost of “Business-as-usual”

Given their roles as shelters of life and property and venues for human activity, buildings need to be designed and built to protect human life, and property, and to ensure continuity of function. This means buildings must be designed and built to protect against the elements, and also against the impact of natural hazards that may affect them from time to time during their service life.

It should be clear to anyone who objectively assesses risk, or damage in the aftermath of disasters, just meeting the requirements of the applicable building code or business as usual will not do when it comes to designing/constructing buildings in vulnerable locations.

Ricardo Alvarez offers consulting services in various fields including Hazard Mitigation, defined as the practice of utilizing design criteria to reduce the potential for damage to buildings from the impact of recurring natural hazards. Ricardo’s consulting services also include his expertize in Vulnerability Assessment, Characterization of Impact as tools in the practice of Hazard Mitigation as well as Risk Assessment applied to the built environment.

Please go to CONSULTING on the top menu and read about an actual project where Ricardo applied these disciplines. Look for: Assessing Risk: Buildings in Coastal Locations.