Satoshi Kina Las Olas Boulevard, Miami, during Hurricane Irma

Satoshi Kina Las Olas Boulevard, Miami, during Hurricane Irma

Just days before Hurricane Irma made landfall, Michael Lingerfelt, FAIA, sold his house in Orlando, Fla. But the new owners weren’t left in a lurch: Though the storm damaged surrounding residences, he says, “it was like God put a bubble around our house.”

Of course it was not the work of God but rather that of Lingerfelt, who had spent two decades reinforcing his house’s roof, windows, and structure, that saved the house. Lingerfelt knows a fair bit about preparedness, as a former president of the AIA Florida chapter and past chair of the disaster committee of Walt Disney Imagineering, the theme park’s building and engineering arm where he worked for 25 years. He also serves as a board member for the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), a nonprofit consumer advocate for strengthening homes from natural and manmade disasters.