Note: This guest blog is by Lewis O’Leary, who has served as both a forensic investigator and restoration contractor since Hurricane Camille (1969). He has a degree in the fields of Mechanical Engineering and Architecture, is the Chairman of the Education Committee for the Building Envelope Science Institute, and is a design/build, General Contractor licensed in North Carolina. Mr. O’Leary also serves as a staff consultant for engineering firms involved with wind damage from hurricanes and tornadoes. He can be contacted at 919-577-0907 or via e-mail at

On July 9, 2017, the News & Observer (N&O), a Raleigh, North Carolina based newspaper, published a front-page article entitled Nearly 200,000 homes in NC are at risk from tropical winds. The article explains that nearly all “manufactured” (aka mobile) homes will be torn to pieces if they are exposed to a “strong” hurricane.
Continue Reading Tropical Winds Cause Latent Damage at Much Lower Wind Speeds than Previously Thought

(*Chip Merlin’s Note–Rocco Calaci has been a noted meteorology expert witness in the Katrina Legal Wars. After meeting him at a recent FAPIA Convention, I invited him to write a series of guest blogs. Click here to read his previous guest blogs)

We Are Using the Wrong Ruler
Rocco Calaci

Whenever a hurricane strikes a community, we obsess over the maximum wind speed and storm surge depth. In my last blog, I mentioned many other weather elements within a hurricane that can cause damages. Now I want to speak my mind on how we need to look at hurricane damage from another perspective.

Continue Reading A Call To Reassess How We Gauge Damage From Hurricane Winds