Wood has been a traditional building material for centuries, but metal buildings have many advantages over wood. When the wrath of nature strikes, wood can be incredibly vulnerable. Metal, however, can resist some of these damaging forces. Here are some ways to outsmart nature with metal buildings and avoid some of its most common damages.

1. Build with metal in flood zones.

Wood is porous, and in a flood it will absorb water, weaken and harbor mold. This can make restoration difficult and expensive, especially if the building's frame stays wet for an extended period of time. Metal buildings won't rot like wood will, and galvanized steel studs won't rust. It resists corrosion, and even if it's submerged in water it won't suffer any permanent damage. This is not necessarily true for wood.

2. Harden a home with metal near fire zones.

Officials and firefighters in fire-prone areas recommend "hardening" the structure against fire. This means using fire resistant materials whenever possible to reduce the chance of embers igniting. It can also lessen the damage and protect as much of the interior and building structure as possible. Flying embers can travel for miles under the powerful winds churned by acres of burning trees. Metal roofs, frames and other building materials are not combustible. They'll not only resist fire, but they'll also protect the contents of a building from heat damage.

3. Use metal frames and trusses in earthquake prone areas.

Unlike wood that can splinter, shatter and collapse easily under force, metal frames and trusses bend and sway. Instead of breaking, they absorb the shock and return to their original position when the tremor is over. Even though metal can be permanently bent or twisted in a severe earthquake, it will still maintain most of its structural integrity and minimize the damage.

4. Build with metal to avoid insects and pests.

In areas where destructive insects are a problem, metal buildings can be a solution. Termites and carpenter ants feed on wood, but have no interest in metal. A metal barn, garage or shed won't attract any chewing or boring insects

The inherent strength of metal buildings helps them resist the forces of nature and makes restoration easier. In flood, fire and earthquake zones, metal structures can offer more protection than other materials. Of course, nature is unpredictable and no structure is completely immune. But metal can usually survive what nature dishes out, from minor annoyances like termites and mold spores to major disasters like floods and fires.