Can Shipping Containers Withstand Hurricanes?

With one of the busiest seasons for named storms in the gulf over recent decades, considering ways to protect belongings is something on everyone's minds. Hurricanes have the potential for 150+ mph winds and much higher than that in certain pockets depending on how big the storm is. This lends the question, can shipping containers withstand hurricanes? The answer is not cut and dry and requires a bit further explanation, but, from a core perspective, a shipping container can be a great way to protect your belongings through a hurricane if installed and secured properly.

shipping container hurricanes

The Science of Hurricanes

Before we dive into the engineering of a shipping container let's discuss what one of these containers would go through in a hurricane coming ashore. Here are the ranges of wind speeds for each category storm:

  • Category 1 - 74-95 mph
    • Very dangerous winds will produce some damage
  • Category 2 - 96-110 mph
    • Extreme winds will cause extensive damage
  • Category 3 - 11-129 mph
    • Devastating damage will occur
  • Category 4 - 130-156 mph
    • Catastrophic damage will occur
  • Category 5 - 157 mph or higher
    • More catastrophic damage

Much of the catastrophic damage comes to framed homes as they disintegrate under immense loads. In extreme cases, power could be out for weeks or even months. These are all items to consider as we consider the hardiness of a shipping container in a hurricane. There are some things that are inescapable when a hurricane makes its way ashore. Storm surge, or the rise in sea levels created by the immense pressure coming from a hurricane, power outages, and fallen trees can all have more impact on your shipping container than wind.

What is the Purpose of Shipping Containers?

Let us not forget the main reason these containers were created. Even though we create wonderful custom designed homes, offices, and many other functional spaces for an employer or home owner alike, these containers were made to ship goods across the high seas. So it makes sense that these would be quite hardy in more extreme weather. We inspect all of our containers to make sure the seals still hold up after shipping and can remain watertight.

Safety Should Always Come First

You should always consider your safety in situations like this. So even if your shipping container home can withstand the heavy storm, it may leave you stranded with no services. If you live in low lying areas near the coast, you should probably evacuate your area and come assess the damage once things have improved in the area. As long as you have a professional come set up and secure your container, it should be able to withstand some of the most extreme weather conditions and remain in place through it all.

Give us a call today to learn more!

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