If I were the insurance companies, I would force people in Hurricane affected areas to rebuild their homes as Geodesic domes. They can be quite elaborate and have amazing interiors and can be built for a lot less than a conventional home. And they can withstand the toughest of hurricanes. Check out the following story.

For many days after Katrina, I tried reaching someone in charge at the Dupont plant in Delisle, Mississippi, where last year we had built a 50′ x 18′ Monolithic Dome specifically as a hurricane shelter.

This morning I finally got through to Dupont’s engineer, Jack Seybold. He told me that Katrina did more than $100 million of damage to their facility and that this Category 5 hurricane nearly totaled their plant.

Through it all, 30 of Dupont’s Hurricane Crew — professionals who assess damage as quickly as possible after a hurricane — sat secure and comfortable in the Monolithic Dome they originally called the “Hurricane Shelter.”

That dome now has a new name: The Category 5 Shelter. According to Mr. Seybold, the renaming came about because Katrina convinced the crew that their dome can stand against anything.

DeLisle experienced Katrina as a Category 5 hurricane, with embedded tornadoes and a water surge 27 feet high. Water rushed over the dykes and came within 150 feet of the dome. Debris, including uprooted trees, pummeled the dome shell.

Mr. Seybold said that, through it all, their Monolithic Dome performed admirably. He said the people inside felt so safe that, several times, they opened the dome’s door to get fresh air. He concluded by telling me that early in 2006, Dupont will ask Monolithic to do a presentation for their civil engineers.