AbstractPost-disaster, rapid response research reconnaissance is one of the most powerful means to understand the effects of natural hazards on the nation's built environment. The structural engineering community's ability to advance windstorm design and construction methodologies is greatly informed by systematically documenting the performance of residential homes, buildings, and other civil infrastructure under actual hazard conditions. The 2017 hurricane season has been an especially unprecedented venue for such investigations. The season included Hurricane Irma, the most powerful Atlantic Hurricane on record, sustaining 185-mph winds and Category 5 status longer than any prior storm. Irma left a path of considerable destruction across the Caribbean. The U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico were exposed to Irma's full Category 5 strength, claiming three lives and compromising basic infrastructure in Puerto Rico, while delivering staggering damage to the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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