IBHS Experts Weigh in on Tornado Forecasting, Building Codes and the Importance of a Strong Roof

“Tornadoes: Preparedness and Strong Construction Choices Can Save Lives” is the lead story in the spring issue of Disaster Safety Review, an Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) publication.

This feature article discusses the importance of early preparation and selecting the right building materials to make structures more resistant to tornadoes, and includes commentary by IBHS experts on tornado forecasting.

“The U.S. experienced a significant increase in tornado activity during 2011, and that trend continued into the first quarter of 2012, even though peak tornado season does not normally begin until May,” said Julie Rochman, IBHS president and CEO.

For both home and business owners, the roof should be a primary focus when it comes to preparing for, and protecting against, a variety of wind events, because the roof is the piece of their building most likely to be damaged. The IBHS article entitled “The Year of the Roof” discusses why and how strengthening roofs is a fast-track to significantly reducing property losses, and how IBHS is analyzing and alerting various audiences to improvements in new and existing roofing systems.

“Virtually every part of this country is at risk from high-wind weather events, such as thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, straight-line windstorms, and wildfires – all of which impact roofs in ways that can lead to destruction of an entire structure,” Rochman said. “As a result, IBHS is aggressively promoting affordable ways to strengthen roofs when building a new house or when repairing or replacing a roof due to age, or after a disaster.”

Also, with hurricane season right around the corner, the new issue of Disaster Safety Review contains an overview of IBHS’ “Rating the States: A Roadmap for Establishing Better Building Standards,” study. This report offers a summary analysis of the building code systems in the 18 states along the hurricane-prone Gulf and Atlantic Coasts. This first-of- its-kind report assesses individual state performance based on three factors: 1) code adoption and enforcement; 2) code official training and certification; and, 3) licensing requirements for construction trades.

“Throughout 2012, IBHS will undertake a variety of initiatives aimed at focusing public attention on solutions to improve the quality of new and existing construction,” Rochman said, “and we look forward to sharing the results of those initiatives in future issues of Disaster Safety Review.”

IBHS is a leading national expert on preparing for, repairing, and rebuilding structures after a catastrophe to make them more disaster-resistant. To arrange an interview with IBHS, contact Joseph King at 813-675-1045/813-442-2845, jking@ibhs.org or via direct message on Twitter @jsalking.

Visit www.DisasterSafety.org for more information about how to make your buildings more resistant to a variety of disasters, big and small. Follow IBHS on Twitter at @DisasterSafety and on Facebook.


About the IBHS
IBHS is an independent, nonprofit, scientific research and communications organization supported by the property insurance industry. The organization works to reduce the social and economic effects of natural disasters and other risks on residential and commercial property by conducting building science research and advocating improved construction, maintenance and preparedness practices.