NAMIC Welcomes Sandy Task Force Recommendation on Building Codes
The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies welcomed a call in a report by the task force overseeing recovery efforts from Hurricane Sandy for states and communities to better protect their citizens by adopting statewide model building codes and promoting programs to ensure stronger, safer construction.
“The best time to protect your home from extreme weather events is long before they happen, and safe building codes have been repeatedly shown to be the best and most efficient means of preventing damage and loss,” said Jimi Grande, senior vice president of federal and political affairs for NAMIC. “As communities rebuild from the devastation of Sandy, stronger, safer building codes will make them better able to withstand the next storm. Merely hoping the weather cooperates and relying on luck is not an effective way to protect our communities from the increasing number of natural disasters that we face.”
In its Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy, the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force recommends that states adopt and enforce the latest version of the International Building Code and the International Residential Code, and that they promote programs such as the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety FORTIFIED home program. NAMIC is a strong supporter of these programs, and, along with its partners in the BuildStrong Coalition, has championed the Safe Building Code Incentive Act, legislation currently before Congress that would provide additional post-disaster aid for those states that adopt and enforce modern building codes.
“The Safe Building Code Incentive Act rewards those states that act responsibly to reduce their exposure to extreme weather, without adding any significant additional costs to the taxpayers,” Grande said. Studies have shown that every dollar spent by the government on mitigation saves $4 in losses. The codes being recommended, had they been in place at the time, would have reduced losses from wind damage during Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana by $8 billion and by more than $3 billion in Mississippi.
“The simple fact is that mitigation is the best way to reduce the costs of extreme weather,” Grande said. “With this report, the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force joins NAMIC, the BuildStrong Coalition, and a chorus of other building experts, engineers, communities, and emergency responders who want to see their communities built stronger and safer.”
Federal Public Affairs Director