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The Last House Standing

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The Last House Standing
Directed byGeorge Siegal
Produced byGeorge Siegal
Written byGeorge Siegal
Music byKate Diaz
CinematographyMichael Lukaszewskyj
Edited byAndy Smith
Release date
  • 2020 (2020)
Running time
77 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

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The Last House Standing is a 2020 documentary film directed by George Siegal that explores why people aren’t more proactive about preparing for disasters. Every year millions of people suffer the wrath of Mother Nature as homes and businesses are demolished, houses are flooded or swept away, and lives are lost.

The film encourages viewers to change how they approach where they choose to live, understand the risks, and make sure their homes are giving them the best chance to survive a major disaster. The title of the film refers to a house in Mexico Beach, Florida that is one of the only structures that remained standing after Category Five Hurricane Michael struck the area in November of 2018. The film also shows how cities like Moore, Oklahoma have changed their building code after being struck by four EF4 and EF5 Tornadoes since 1999. Other disasters covered in the film include wildfires and earthquakes in California, the vulnerability of Tampa, Florida to a major Hurricane, and various experts talking about how climate change and global warming are changing weather patterns and increasing the strength and frequency of major disasters. The film was recognized by 15 film festivals and is currently airing on Public Broadcasting Stations across the United States.


Overview[edit]

The film features interviews with leading experts in the field of science and construction, as well as several stories about people who have lost everything in natural disasters. It shows where their vulnerabilities were before the storm, and the price they paid by not being better prepared.


People interviewed in the film:

  • Aris Papadpolous is the retired CEO of Titan America and is presently Board Chairman of ST Equipment & Technology and an advisor to Titan Group. He has over 35 years of industrial experience, twenty of which he served as Chief Executive. His book Resilience - The Ultimate Sustainability is featured in the film.
  • Henk Ovink is a Dutch special envoy to the United Nations and flood expert. In 2015, he was appointed as the first Water Ambassador of the Netherlands.
  • Brock Long an American emergency manager who served as the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He was appointed to the position in April 2017 and confirmed by the United States Senate in June 2017. Long now works at Hagerty Consulting as Executive Chairman.
  • Joseph A Barbera  an Associate Professor of Engineering Management and Clinical Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at The George Washington University. He is a founding Co-Director of The George Washington University Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management (ICDRM), which was established in 1994 as a multidisciplinary research institute. ICDRM is currently based in the Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering, but continues to promote and support multidisciplinary research.
  • Jennifer Francis became a senior scientist at Woods Hole Research Center in 2018, after being a research professor at Rutgers University's Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences starting in 1994.
  • Joel W. May   for over three decades has been fortunate to work in many fast-paced construction sectors focused on insurance risk, design, and renovation, building materials, research, and development, building science, energy and environmental performance. People call on his skills as a collaborator, innovator, thinker, and problem solver.
  • Robert Milstein is a fire mitigation expert in Southern California.
  • Dr. Kit Miyamoto is a Structural Engineer and world-leading expert in disaster resiliency engineering, disaster response and reconstruction. He provides expert engineering and policy consultation in Mexico, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Haiti for both policy and engineering expert consultation. He is a California Seismic Safety Commissioner.

Production[edit]

Production began on this film in 2018 around the time Hurricane Michael struck the Florida Panhandle. George Siegal, a former weatherman and reporter directed the film.

Release[edit]

The film began appearing in festivals in winter of 2019 in London, Paris, Toronto, Amsterdam, Tokyo and the United States. The Last House Standing is currently airing on Public broadcasting stations across the United States.

Synopsis[edit]

This documentary visits the scenes of major disasters to hear stories from victims about the event that changed their lives. The “true last house standing” is located in Mexico Beach, Florida, and it survived Hurricane Michael, a category five hurricane that struck on October 10, 2018. The film shows all the destruction in Mexico Beach and Panama City Florida.

In November of 2018, Malibu, California was struck by a major fire called the Woolsey Fire. Almost 800 homes were destroyed. The crew interviewed several of the victims along with experts that discussed how something like this could be prevented from happening again. The crew also traveled to Moore, Oklahoma, a city which has had eight tornadoes since 1999, four of which were EF4’s or EF5’s. After an EF Tornado struck in 2013 killing 24 people and destroying 300 homes, the city decided to change their building code. Experts in resilient building, flood mitigation and insurance gave information about what people need to do in order to be prepared for the next disaster.

Awards[edit]

  • Accolade Global Competition “Award of Excellence”
  • Docs Without Borders “Excellence Award”
  • Miami International Film Festival “Winner”
  • Nature Without Borders International Film Festival “Excellence Award”
  • Also recognized and screened by: Mindfield Film Festival, Los Angeles , Amsterdam Lift-Off Film Festival 2020,  London Lift-Off Film Festival 2020, Los Angels Lift-Off Film Festival 2020, New York Lift-Off Festival 2020, Paris Lift-Off Film Festival 2020, Sunset Film Festival Los Angeles 2020,  Sydney Lift-Off Film Festival 2020, Tokyo Lift-Off Film Festival 2020, Toronto Lift-Off Film Festival 2020, Vero Beach Wine & Film Festival 2020.

References[edit]

Moore Oklahoma Tornadoes NWS has played a key role in protecting American lives and properties for over a century.

Global Warming NRDC works to safeguard the earth - its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends.

Rutgers University's Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences

External links[edit]


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