In an era where the weather is getting just as crazy as soaring insurance rates, protecting our homes has never been more important. This reality drove Josh Morgerman, a well-established hurricane chaser and respected meteorologist, to construct a home designed to withstand the most powerful storms. Known as "iCyclone," Morgerman has encountered the eye of over 70 hurricanes, providing him with unparalleled expertise in hurricane preparedness.

Who is Josh Morgerman?

Josh Morgerman's reputation as a hurricane expert is well-earned. He has faced storms such as Haiyan, Ian, and Hurricane Patricia, the latter being the strongest cyclone ever observed, with winds reaching 215 mph. His extensive experience led him to the decision to build a hurricane-resistant home in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi—an area notorious for devastating hurricanes like Katrina and Camille.

Seriously, a Hurricane-Proof Home

Morgerman's home, which he affectionately calls his "Hurricane House," appears at first glance to be a traditional southern shotgun house. However, this home is anything but ordinary.

"If I’m going to build a home here, it has to be designed and built right; it has to be hurricane tough," Morgerman explains. The house is a "FORTIFIED Gold" standard home, a designation from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, indicating it meets the highest construction standards for hurricane resistance.

The Fortification Process

Morgerman emphasized the importance of involving a third-party inspector during construction to ensure the home meets all safety recommendations.

This process not only guarantees the house's resilience but also significantly reduces insurance rates. "Once you comply with all their recommendations, you receive a certificate that says your home is fortified gold," he said, highlighting the dual benefits of safety and savings.

Tips for Existing Homeowners

For those not building new hurricane homes (which is most of us), Morgerman offers practical advice for hurricane-proofing existing structures:
1. Roof Integrity: A standing seam metal roof is ideal for withstanding extreme winds.
2. Window Protection: Impact-resistant glass or shutters are essential to prevent structural damage.
3. Siding Upgrade: Fiber-cement siding, such as James Hardie siding, provides superior protection compared to traditional materials.

A Community of Weather Experts

Morgerman's housewarming party, held on the first day of the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season, attracted dozens of residents, weather enthusiasts, and meteorologist Jim Cantore.

The event underscored the importance of hurricane awareness and preparedness. "This is a celebration of hurricane awareness and preparedness," Morgerman stated, urging attendees to ready themselves for what could be a particularly severe hurricane season.

A New Weather Station

Adding to his commitment to weather science, Morgerman installed a custom weather station in his backyard to measure winds up to 224 mph. "Mississippi gets the craziest hurricanes," he remarked, emphasizing the need for accurate scientific measurements.

As the 2024 hurricane season approaches, Morgerman is fully prepared for whatever will come our way. Let's hope Mother Nature doesn't test the Hurricane House too hard, for our sake.

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

Gallery Credit: KATELYN LEBOFF

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