The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) launched a construction program designed to strengthen homes against the high winds and wind-driven rain of hurricanes. The program, Fortified Home™- Hurricane, was launched in conjunction with the 22nd anniversary of Hurricane Andrew on August 24.
“Andrew devastated southern Florida and was the second costliest hurricane to affect the United States based on insured losses,” says Julie Rochman, president and CEO of IBHS. “It changed the way we think about hurricane preparedness and has helped shape both IBHS’ laboratory research and building guidance. The Fortified Home – Hurricane program is a great example of this.”
The program aims to help homeowners build safe, strong new homes, and retrofit existing homes with targeted improvements. It provides a uniform, voluntary set of standards to help increase a home’s resilience by adding system-specific upgrades to minimum code requirements. Additionally, homes built or retrofitted under the program are inspected by an independent, third-party, certified evaluator – before, during and after the upgrades are performed.
“The Fortified Home – Hurricane program enables homeowners to make informed decisions about maximizing their investment in disaster-resilience, and achieve peace of mind knowing their home will be as strong as possible when hurricanes strike. It’s not a matter of if another big hurricane will hit the U.S. like Andrew, just when and where,” Rochman says.