IBHS Offers Guidance on Rebuilding and Repairing Safer, Stronger After Sandy
By Mel Fabrikant Tuesday, January 29, 2013, 10:31 AM EST
As Sandy recovery continues, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) offers new insights and guidance focused on key rebuilding issues to help residents and business owners repair or rebuild so that their property is stronger and more resilient.
“While everyone is anxious to get back into their homes or resume business operations as quickly as possible, it is critical that people also focus on how to prevent damage and destruction from the next big storm, because there will be another one,” said Julie Rochman, IBHS president and CEO. “Taking actions based on the building science guidance from IBHS will help ensure properties are better able to withstand the next extreme weather event.”
The Northeast was most recently hit by Irene and Sandy, both of which were largely flooding events. However, such storms – including future events – can bring high winds, which wreak havoc on property. Now, before the winds blow, is the time to harden communities in the Northeast by strengthening individual homes and businesses, and putting realistic, actionable plans in place for before, during and after a storm.
IBHS’ new paper entitled Rebuilding and Repairing Safer and Stronger Post-Sandy focuses on four key questions residents and business owners need to consider: 1) Is your roof strong enough? 2) Is the building tied together properly so it can stand up to extreme winds? 3) Are doors and windows protected? and, 4) Is the building properly elevated to avoid flooding? Specific guidance is offered about how to address each of these areas.
The second IBHS paper, Mitigation Lessons from Sandy: How to Protect Your Business from the Next Storm, summarizes business protection lessons from Sandy, and outlines how to embrace these lessons to ensure properties and operations are better prepared to withstand the next major storm.
Finally, in Status of Building Codes in New Jersey and New York: The Future of Resilience in a Post-Sandy Environment, IBHS examines current building codes and standards in New York and New Jersey, and provides critical information and suggestions to help increase building resilience for future storms.
“We need to need to think of buildings as systems and take a holistic approach toward repair and rebuilding. It only takes one weak link in the system for an entire building to fail,” Rochman said. “Fortunately, some of the most effective and valuable property protection techniques are quite cost-effective, particularly when measured against the many human and financial costs of heavily damaged or destroyed homes and businesses.”
IBHS is a leading national expert on preparing for, and repairing and rebuilding structures after, a catastrophe to make them more disaster-resistant. 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.