Hurricane Andrew (1992) was one of the most catastrophic hurricane disasters in history. Roaring onshore as a Category 5 with maximum sustained winds at 165 mph, the storm destroyed countless homes and devastated South Florida. Andrew sparked a renewed interest in providing better hurricane protection. Miami-Dade County in Florida now requires the strictest building codes in the entire country for hurricane protection.

Seven days after Hurricane Andrew, thunderstorms further drenched the devastated area of Homestead, FL. Image credit to The Miami Herald/Jon Kral.

We Will Rebuild!

After Andrew, South Florida community leaders brought together government and private companies to address urgent problems caused by the storm. Called the We Will Rebuild! Foundation, this group of activists also helped bring about new building codes, laws, and institutions to assure the community would be better prepared to face future hurricanes. Funding from We Will Rebuild!, led to the founding of Florida International University's International Hurricane Research Center (IHRC) in 1996. The IHRC spearheaded research that has led to many changes in Florida building codes, ultimately saving countless lives.

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The Miami Herald – The lessons of We Will Rebuild! 20 years later