TAMPA, Apr. 20, 2017 – As much of America prepares for the 2017 hurricane season, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) urges home and business owners to adopt stronger, more resilient construction and retrofitting techniques to help the built environment in our communities withstand whatever blows in across our oceans and gulfs in the months and years ahead.
Alex Cary, IBHS’ FORTIFIED Coastal Programs Manager, is participating in this 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. “IBHS’ FORTIFIED HomeTM 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,” Cary told conference participants.
“Year after year our coastal communities are pummeled by punishing high winds, driving rain and hurricanes, which cause substantial damage to homes and businesses,” said Cary. “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.”
Cary was a speaker on the “Stronger than the Wind: Building Better, Being Resilient” panel, which was moderated by Lynne McChristian, Florida representative, Insurance Information Institute. Additional panelists include Rob Galbraith, Director of Property Underwriting, USAA (a long-standing IBHS member), and Julie Shiyou-Woodard, President and CEO, Smart Home America, Inc.
“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,” Cary noted.