In the Coastal US, Spring is not only a time for warm weather and beautiful flowers, but heavy storms, that can produce tornadoes and hurricanes. Tornadoes and hurricanes are two of the most destructive natural disasters in the world. They can cause widespread damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure. Properties that are not built to withstand these storms are at risk of being severely damaged or destroyed.
The FORTIFIED™ building standards are a set of voluntary guidelines that can help to make homes more resistant to tornadoes and hurricanes. These standards include requirements for the strength of the home’s structure, the quality of the roofing, and the installation of opening protection products like shutter systems or impact-resistant windows and doors.
Homes that are built to FORTIFIED™ standards are more likely to withstand the high winds and flying debris associated with tornadoes and hurricanes. They are also less likely to sustain damage from water infiltration, which can lead to mold growth and other problems.
According to a study by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS), homes that are built to FORTIFIED™ standards are 75% less likely to sustain major damage from a tornado and 60% less likely to sustain major damage from a hurricane. The study also found that FORTIFIED™ homes experience an average of $4,000 less in damage from a tornado and $1,500 less in damage from a hurricane than homes that are not built to these standards.
The benefits of building to FORTIFIED™ standards are clear—if the property is built to these standards, they are more likely to withstand the destructive forces of tornadoes and hurricanes and other inclement weather conditions. They are also less likely to sustain damage that can lead to costly repairs and long-term health problems.
If you live in a coastal area that is prone to tornadoes or hurricanes, it is important to consider building your home to FORTIFIED™ standards. These standards can help to protect your home and your family from the devastating effects of these storms.
In addition to the FORTIFIED™ building standards, there are several other things you can do to protect your home from tornadoes and hurricanes. These include:
- Installing hurricane shutters or impact-resistant windows. These can help to protect your home from flying debris that will open up an entry point for high winds and rain to enter the structure.
- Trimming trees and shrubs near your home. This can help to reduce the risk of damage from falling trees.
- Installing a sump pump and battery backup. This can help to protect your home from water damage.
- Creating a disaster plan. This plan should include things like where you will go if you need to evacuate, how you will communicate with your family and friends, and what supplies you will need.
By taking these steps, you can help to protect your home and your family from the devastating effects of adverse weather this season and beyond.
For more information on how to get started with the FORTIFIED™ program or to see if you are eligible to retrofit your current property to meet the FORTIFIED™ standards, please contact us at 888-964-8776 ext 2.