2017 Hurricane Member Resources

What if another Category 5 Hurricane Andrew struck again this year as it did 25 years ago? Would your policyholders be ready?

The critical lesson we learned from Andrew is it only takes one storm to devastate an entire area, and it can be the very first one of the season as Andrew was in 1992, which still ranks as the second most costly hurricane ever for insurers. 2017’s Hurricane Season officially began June 1. Although initial predictions from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in May called for a relatively quiet hurricane season, a new NOAA forecast issued in August calls for “a higher likelihood of an above-normal season.” 

IBHS provides this package of hurricane preparedness resources for your use with policyholders, employees, agents and other key stakeholders to help strengthen their homes and businesses so they can effectively reduce their risk of property damage. We also encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter so you can share our messages about hurricane season:

Hurricane Resources


1. Prepare Your Surrounding to Reduce Damage
Limit possible sources of wind-borne debris by surveying your home’s surroundings before a storm. Consider these actions to reduce the possibility of damage from the area surrounding your home.

2. Protect Your Home’s Openings
Protect all openings from high wind or flying debris damage. Failure of a large window or door (entry, sliding glass or garage) can result in pressurization inside your home and potential property damage. Use these guidelines to strengthen the openings of your building.

3. Strengthen Your Roof
The roof is your home’s first line of defense against Mother Nature, making it one of the most vulnerable points. Roof cover damage occurs in the majority of wind-related claims, and a compromised roof can allow high winds and wind-driven rain to get inside your home and cause major damage. Use this checklist to inspect your roof covering to determine what steps need to be taken to strengthen it. Additional roof strengthening information can be found on IBHS’ Roofs webpage.


The roof is your home’s first line of defense against the punishing winds and rains of a hurricane. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) created guidelines to help homeowners fortify their roofs against hurricane damage during the re-roofing process. After all, replacing a roof is expensive. Shouldn’t you be getting the best protection possible for your hard-earned dollars?

The 8 steps to creating a strong roof from IBHS’ guide Is Your Roof FORTIFIED? are:

  • Remove the original roof covering and underlayment to expose the roof deck.
  • Inspect the roof deck for damage, replace damaged sections to provide a durable nailing surface.
  • Re-fasten the roof deck (staples are not permitted, ring shank nails are ideal).
  • Seal the roof deck. A roof deck with the seams sealed helps keep water out if the roof cover is lost or damaged.
  • Replace roof-mounted vents with vents that meet Florida Building Code Test Standard TAS 100(A). These vents resist wind and water intrusion.
  • Install metal drip edge at all eaves and rakes to keep wind-driven rain out.
  • Install flashing.
  • Install new, high-wind rated roof covering per the manufacturer’s high wind installation requirements.

You can learn more about how to strengthen your roof by watching IBHS’ Getting the Roof Right animated video.


Many businesses are not prepared to respond to hurricanes. Small businesses are particularly at risk because they may have all of their operations concentrated in one location that could be damaged or destroyed. That is why disaster planning is a critical part of every business’ operational objectives.

While emergency planning ideally is a year-round priority, the peak of hurricane season is a good time to refocus your efforts. Now is the time to:

  • Have your building(s) inspected and complete any maintenance needed to ensure that your building can stand up to severe weather.
  • Designate an employee to monitor weather reports and alert your team to the potential of severe weather.
  • Review your business continuity plan and update as needed, including employee contact information. If you do not have a plan, consider IBHS’ free, easy-to-use business continuity plan toolkit for small businesses, OFB-EZ® (Open for Business-EZ).
  • Remind employees of key elements of your business continuity plan, including post-event communications procedures and work/payroll procedures. Make sure all employees have a hard copy of the plan. Review emergency shutdown and start-up procedures, such as electrical systems, with appropriate personnel, including alternates.
  • If back-up power such as a diesel generator is to be used, test your system and establish proper contracts with fuel suppliers for emergency fuel deliveries.
  • Re-inspect and replenish emergency supplies, since they are often used during non-emergency situations.
  • Test all life safety equipment.
  • Conduct training/simulation exercises for both your business continuity and emergency preparedness/response plans.

Learn more about what to do before, during and after a tropical storm or hurricane to protect your business and employees with IBHS’ EZ-PREP: Severe Weather Emergency Preparedness and Planning Toolkit.

FORTIFIED Home™ Member Toolkit

FORTIFIED Home™ is the national standard for resilient construction and is gaining in popularity in several coastal communities. Use a FORTIFIED Home™ Member Toolkit outlining how you can utilize various resources with your policyholders.

Learn more about the FORTIFIED Home program at http://www.fortifiedhome.org/.

Hurricane Andrew 25th Anniversary

2017 marks the 25th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew, the second costliest hurricane ever for insurers.
Date: August 16, 1992 – August 28, 1992; U.S. landfall: August 24 in Homestead, Florida
Damage: $26.5 billion (1992 USD); (Fifth costliest tropical cyclone in Atlantic basin; fourth costliest in U.S. History)
Highest Wind Speed: 175 mph (280 km/h)
Category: Category 5 Hurricane
Impacted Areas: Florida, Bahamas, Louisiana, Southern United States

Source: National Hurricane Center


  • Hurricane season is right around the corner. Take the time now to update your business continuity plan or create a new one using IBHS’ free toolkit, OFB-EZ® (Open for Business-EZ).
  • Use IBHS’ EZ-PREP Guide for small businesses to customize an emergency preparedness and response plan so you are ready if a tropical storm targets your area.
  • A sealed roof deck is a critical component of FORTIFIED Home™ resilient construction standards and can reduce your risk of costly property damage during a tropical storm. Learn why through research conducted at the IBHS Research Center: http://bit.ly/2ppLQwQ
  • Is it time to replace your roof? Have a roofing professional look for the common signs of roof wear and tear using IBHS’ roof inspection checklist.
  • Roof damage makes up the majority of wind-related insurance claims each year. Building science research has identified many affordable ways to reduce roof damage from high winds. Learn more in IBHS’ guide Is Your Roof FORTIFIED?
  • Your roof is your building’s first defense against high wind and rain damage. Learn how to strengthen your roof with IBHS’ guide Is Your Roof FORTIFIED?.
  • The moments after a tropical storm are crucial to quickly returning back to normalcy. Find out what steps you can take to safely and efficiently recover from a storm: http://bit.ly/2cWe749



  • Installing a new roof? Make it stronger before hurricane season using guidance from IBHS: http://bit.ly/2r70gSO.
  • Tropical storm in the forecast? Prepare using IBHS’ last-minute guidance: http://bit.ly/1OJcgQr 
  • A sealed roof deck is a critical component in @FORTIFIEDHome resilient construction standards. Learn why: http://bit.ly/2ppLQwQ
  • Roof cover damage causes the majority of wind-related insurance losses. Learn how to reduce damage: http://bit.ly/2r70gSO.
  • How is IBHS research helping property owners prepare for hurricane season? See for yourself: http://bit.ly/2pILWMw
  • Businesses need to be prepared for severe weather. A business continuity plan will help you recover quicker http://bit.ly/1CWaIqZ.
  • The moments after a tropical storm are crucial to quickly returning back to normalcy. IBHS guidance can help: http://bit.ly/2cWe749