When the Obama Administration announced public and private sector efforts to increase community resilience through building codes and standards last week, they highlighted many groups that are taking part in this effort.

One of these groups is the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), which is committed to working with FEMA, other Federal agencies, and state and local jurisdictions to increase public awareness and use of FEMA P-804, Wind Retrofit Guide for Residential Buildings.

The recent White House Conference on Resilient Building Codes emphasized the critical role of building codes in helping create more resilient communities, and also highlighted the importance of strong construction standards such as those in the IBHS FORTIFIED program.

“As an organization dedicated to conducting objective, scientific research, and identifying and promoting effective actions that strengthen homes, businesses and communities against natural disasters and other causes of loss, IBHS was very pleased to participate in this event. The Obama Administration clearly recognizes the importance of incorporating resilience into our nation’s building codes and standards,” said Debra Ballen, general counsel and senior vice president, public policy, IBHS.

“We know from experience that resilient communities are better able to respond to and recover from severe weather events,” she noted.

Following that event IBHS made a commitment to: Work closely with FEMA, the White House, other federal agencies, and several states to increase public awareness and use of FEMA P-804, Wind Retrofit Guide for Residential Buildings (which mirrors technical knowledge underpinning the IBHS FORTIFIED Home-Hurricane standard). Specifically, IBHS will work with FEMA to promote and identify ways to better utilize Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) grants and Hazard Mitigation Program Grants (HMPG) to retrofit homes using P-804/FORTIFIED Home requirements.

“We must break the cycle of destruction created by rebuilding in the same locations in the same brittle ways over and over again following disasters,” said Ballen. “The Obama Administration has shown real leadership by shining a spotlight on the need for resilient building codes and standards in our country, and by taking numerous specific actions that will drive us toward a more resilient society.”

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