In a response to hurricane sandy, the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies called for a revision in the NY building code. The task force oversaw recovery effects from Sandy and has since suggested that our nation adopt a stronger building code that promote stronger and safer construction. This effort would decrease the total damage by a hurricane and prevent such a crisis in future years to come.
In a statement by Jimi Grande, the senior vice president for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) it was stated that, “The best time to protect your home from extreme weather events is long before they happen, and a safe building code have been repeatedly shown to be the best and most efficient means of preventing damage and loss.” The truth of the matter is that if the building code is stronger and safer, then the houses will be able to withstand harsher weather.
In the strategy proposed by NAMIC, the taskforce is recommending that states adopt the latest version of the International Residential Code and that programs like the Insurance Institute for Business and Home safety Fortified home program. NAMIC is a huge supporter for these programs, and others, and has tried to pass legislation in the form of the Safe Building Code Incentive Act. This act would provide post-disaster aid for states which adopt it, and is currently before congress.
“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. In an extensive study, it was shown that each dollar spent by the government on mitigation would save 4 in losses – long term. If the codes had been in place during sandy it has been proposed that savings would be in the billions. Wind damage alone would have been reduced by 8 Billion in Louisiana and 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 and a chorus of other building experts, engineers, communities, and emergency responders who want to see their communities built stronger and safer.”
Whether the laws get passed nationally or only in a few states, it is a step in the right direction. Any legislation that can save tax dollars and improve the quality of life for those effected is one that should be heavily considered.