Houston - Shockwaves from a deadly building collapse in Florida are being felt nationwide.
"It’s definitely crossing my mind," said Stanley Drake.
Drake lives in a high-rise condominium in downtown Houston.
"It’s very scary," said Drake. "Can you imagine? One minute you’re drinking a beer, the next the building is falling over and you’re fighting for your life."
"For a building of that nature to collapse when there was no sign of an earthquake, it’s very tragic," said Leon Moffett, Drake’s neighbor. "It makes me really concerned."
Engineers frequently check buildings to see if they’re structurally sound. On Thursday, we interviewed Dr. Emad Mousavi, owner of Texas Structural Engineers, about this issue.
"Things don’t happen without warning," said Dr. Mousavi. "We should be looking for any symptoms, or signs, that show something is going on."
According to Dr. Mousavie, his company occasionally finds high-rise buildings in the Houston area that he considers to be structurally not safe.
"There was an apartment complex in Houston, it was in serious condition. There was another one in Galveston," said Dr. Mousavie. "There were hundreds of families living in those buildings. Just because people are living in that building, doesn’t mean it’s automatically safe. Also, just because a building is old, doesn’t mean it’s not safe."
According to a USA Today report, the collapsed Miami condo had been determined unstable years ago. A researcher in the 1990s found a "shifting foundation and cracked walls" and believed the building was sinking possibly "2 millimeters" per year.
"It was likely symptoms that someone ignored, but there’s always a possibility of stuff happening under the ground," said Dr. Mousavie. "But, that’s very rare."
Experts say you can check your building for obvious signs of instability, like cracks or shifts in the foundation. However, sometimes rare, unforeseen catastrophic events can still happen.
"I don’t become fearful of things like that," said Moffett. "But, it does have me concerned about how I live in the future."