Florida International University hosted the premiere of “Built to Last? Saving our Homes in the Age of Disasters” Wednesday at the Modesto A. Maidique Campus.

The documentary focuses on sustainable infrastructure and how architectural innovations can mitigate the harm caused by natural disasters.

The film was inspired by “Resilience—The Ultimate Sustainability,” a book written by Aris Papadopoulos, FIU’s Extreme Events Institute’s distinguished expert in resilience.

By Steven Guillen
South Florida News Service
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The documentary features Dr. Richard Olson, FIU Extreme Events Institute director.

“Disasters are not natural. Nature provides events, but we provide the vulnerabilities that take a natural event and make it into a disaster or worse a catastrophe,” said Dr. Olson before the movie began.

Papadopoulos and Olson were joined by Julie Rochman, the former CEO of Insurance Institutes for Business and Home Safety, for a panel discussion after the documentary screening.

Rochman suggested remodeling homes with stronger support, buying away from the coast and paying a bit extra for better materials and smarter architecture.

She also said that when house hunting, people should ask questions that go beyond the aesthetic of the house: what MPH winds can the house support? Is it in a flood zone?

2017 brought the United States a total of $309 billion in damages caused by natural disasters, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In 2017, $4.5 billion of damage was caused by natural disasters in Florida alone, according to The National Weather Service.

Information on the movie as well as resources for damage reduction can be found here.