Don’t wait until after the hurricane strikes — here’s what the experts say to do in advance

by Brianna Crandall — April 28, 2017 — As much of America prepares for the 2017 hurricane season, the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) urges business owners to adopt stronger, more resilient construction and retrofitting techniques to help the built environment withstand whatever blows in across the oceans and gulfs in the months and years ahead.

Alex Cary, IBHS’ FORTIFIED Coastal Programs manager, participated in last week’s National Hurricane Conference in New Orleans to remind residents in hurricane-prone states that now is the time to reduce their risk of damage from these devastating storms. A speaker on the “Stronger than the Wind: Building Better, Being Resilient” panel, Cary told conference participants:

IBHS’ FORTIFIED Home program goes beyond emergency preparedness to give home and business owners the peace of mind that comes from knowing their most vital asset has been made stronger and safer so it can better withstand Mother Nature’s wrath.

Year after year our coastal communities are pummeled by punishing high winds, driving rain and hurricanes, which cause substantial damage to homes and businesses. Sadly, we continue to repair and rebuild using the same ineffective construction practices in the same locations, which will continue to suffer damage from the same kinds of devastating severe weather events.

We must stop this cycle of destruction by shifting our focus from post-disaster funding for repairing and rebuilding to pre-disaster funding for creating resilient communities with homes and businesses that are more disaster-resistant.

While emergency preparedness is critical as we head into another hurricane season, so too is creating more resilient communities by strengthening our homes. IBHS’ FORTIFIED Home standards are not only tested at IBHS’ Research Center, they also were battle-tested during Hurricane Ike in 2008, demonstrating their effectiveness in making homes stronger, safer and better able to withstand severe weather events such as hurricanes.

In addition to the FORTIFIED Home program, IBHS offers FORTIFIED Commercial — a voluntary, superior construction standard and designation program for new/existing construction that addresses specific natural hazard risks and recommendations for reducing damage.

The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety’s mission is to conduct objective, scientific research to identify and promote effective actions that strengthen homes, businesses, and communities against natural disasters and other causes of loss.