TAMPA, Fla., Dec. 21, 2016 – The following is a statement from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety’s (IBHS) President and CEO Julie Rochman:
“We commend the Obama Administration’s efforts to make our nation more resilient to natural disasters – which are summarized in a blog and impressive new report released today, entitled ‘Standards and Finance to Support Community Resilience.’
“Every American should appreciate that, when homes and businesses remain standing in the aftermath of a natural disaster, communities retain economic viability because people get back to work more quickly, less federal and state aid is needed, and less storm debris ends up in landfills.
“Today’s report will help ensure that communities hit by natural disasters don’t just rebuild, but build back stronger and smarter to withstand the next storm. The report also encourages the public and private sectors to invest in resilience now, which pays off well beyond the obvious safety benefits with reduced storm losses, lower insurance costs, enhanced market values for homes and bottom-line savings for businesses.
“By bringing together and working with multiple federal agencies, along with state, local, and tribal leaders, as well as industry and non-profit groups, the White House has both demonstrated thought leadership and set a good example for future leaders at all levels. The multi-pronged approach to promote stronger and safer buildings, including innovative financing, and other measures that can effectively reduce the devastation and costs of severe weather events, will help secure our economy, as well as families, businesses, and communities in every state.
“We are pleased that the White House report once again recognizes the effectiveness and market value of IBHS’ FORTIFIED Home™ program as one that builds community resilience. As part of our work in the area of resilience, IBHS today is announcing our commitment to deploy a FORTIFIED Commercial standard and program in 2017 to support resilient design and retrofits for commercial, retail, and public buildings. Using the same strong, science-based foundation upon which FORTIFIED Home sits, FORTIFIED Commercial will address new and existing small and mid-sized commercial structures. FORTIFIED Commercial building designations will be available for hurricane risk along the coast, as well as for high wind and hail risk further inland, first in the state of Alabama, and then in other states as well.”