- Home Improvement
One of the World's Safest Homes
Getting Hit by a Natural Disaster
After living through two wild fires in Southern California, both of which nearly ravaged my home, I am well aware how quickly a natural and unplanned event can change your life.
I was at a Cheer convention with my younger sister when we got the call, our horses needed to be evacuated and so did all of our stuff. I was only fourteen at the time and I was scared. Later that night, from our hotel room, we watched a news reporter talking from directly in front of our home, "We have to get out of here now.." She had said, her eyes full of worry, "this house just behind me is about to go up in flames."
My heart had literally stopped in that moment as I pictured my room, my bed, my safe haven. Shortly after, one of the loyal neighbors who had stayed behind phoned my parents to tell them the good news: our house had been saved. We owe it all to the firemen who staked out in our backyard and battled down the flames. A few men even crawled into our house through an open window, in order to close all of the other windows. We had left in such a rush we didn't close them ourselves, allowing the chance for ashes to blow inside and create a fire from the inside out.
But unlike a fire, a natural disaster such as a Hurricane can't be stopped by Firemen or Police. A Hurricane is too wild for that, as Valerie Sigler and her husband Mark learned the hard way.
Hurricane Ally is notorious for its horrible whether, the warm waters that float just off shore create deadly forces when the natural winds of the region kick up. For those that live on the beautiful shore lines of Southern Florida, the fears are always looming- when will the next Hurricane come and destroy my home?
Eventually, that Hurricane always comes. In 1995 when twin storms Erin and Opal hit, the Sigler's beach-front home was destroyed. Their life suddenly a soggy mess, Valerie began having nightmares of the waters returning if they decided to rebuild on the same chunk of land. In fear, she told her husband- who just happens to be an inventor- that she was ready to pack up and go.
Mark's genius mind went to work creating a house literally indestructible. He realized that by making his house round, the winds would rush around the outside, creating less damage than a traditional home with sharp corners. With a round starting point, mark then began planning every door, hallway, and floor of the house to accommodate a storm.
Once the beautiful home was complete, all they had to do was wait for storm to see if it really worked. They didn't have to wait long for Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Ivan to blow up on shore, both of which their home survived- while most of the neighbors were, once again, not so lucky.
The safety of the Sigler's place is so trusted it has become the neighborhood gathering spot when the storms hit. Good thing the Sigler's have plenty of space to accommodate everyone in their 2,200 square foot- or "round feet" as the owners say- home. Inside there are 3 full bedrooms and 2 full baths along with 2 drool-worthy patio spaces.
The best part? The house has a 2,000 "round feet" garage beneath the house. Here the couple throws many parties, weddings, and reunions. Mark Sigler laughs when he talks about the roller skating parties they've had simply because heck, it's round!
But this fun zone quickly turns into a nightmare soon as a Hurricane comes though. The wind and water blow right through this aerodynamic home, rushing through the garages massive pathways. This spares the home a lot of damage because the water can rush through it, instead of pounding up into it.
Mark and Valerie really did think of everything while building this home: just in case one happens to be in the garage when a flash flood arrives, there is an on sight elevator available to quickly whisk one away to safety.
But Why Cork Floors?
Unique to this house are its cork floors, an unusual choice that surprisingly looks rather good! Not to mention, the things are just as invincible as the very structure of the home.
During Hurricane Katrina the couple could hear the water rushing through the garage below, the waves so powerful they were knocking the roof of the garage- as well as the floors of their first floor. If the couple had placed a regular floor into their house, wood, marbel, carpet, or stone, the water would have instantly seeped into the material, creating mold, gray walls, and virtually destroying their home.
Are there other Hurricane-Proof Homes?
The Sigler's are not the only family wanting to never again worry about the safety of their home when a Hurricane unavoidably comes knocking. In fact, businesses and entire manufacturing companies are entirely dedicated to building homes that are literally indestructible. Take a look at some of the neatest masterpieces below.