Tampa, Fla. — As the two-year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy approaches October 29, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) urges residents in affected areas to rebuild and repair their communities, homes and businesses to be stronger and more hurricane-resistant.

IBHS recommends specific guidelines for Rebuilding and Repairing Safer and Stronger Post-Sandy, which focus on key components and construction practices:

  • a strong roof, which is a building’s first line of defense against Mother Nature;
  • well-protected doors and windows with impact-resistant glass or shutters;
  • elevated buildings in flood risk areas; and
  • buildings tied together with hurricane straps to reduce the risk of high winds tearing them apart.

“While the affected communities have made great progress during the last two years, we must be careful not to lose momentum as the memory of this storm fades,” said Julie Rochman, president and CEO of IBHS. “We must rebuild stronger, more resilient communities – building back the same way in the same places is not an option.”

“We recently co-sponsored the Northeast Risk & Resilience Leadership Forum and discussed lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy noting how we can move forward and prepare for future severe weather events – because it’s only a matter of time until the next Sandy strikes,” continued Rochman.

Detailed instructions and manuals on strengthening your structure also are available through IBHS’ FORTIFIED programs, which are designed to help strengthen new and existing homes using resilient construction materials, systems and practices. 

The FORTIFIED Home construction standards were recommended in the federal Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force’s Rebuilding Strategy released last year by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The FORTIFIED programs include comprehensive design guides and third-party validation, intended to reliably increase a structure’s resistance to natural hazards specific to local areas.

Additional Sandy recovery resources are available on IBHS’ dedicated Sandy webpage (www.disastersafety.org/disastersafety/sandy-anniversary-2):

• Rebuilding recommendations for businesses: How to Protect Your Business from the Next Storm

• Rating the States Midterm Update (released August 2013) reviews the progress made by the 18 most hurricane-prone coastal states along the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Seaboard, including those affected by Sandy, in strengthening their residential building codes. Also available is the original Rating the States Building Code Report, released January 2012.

• Information about OFB-EZ, IBHS’ free, online business continuity planning guide designed to help small businesses recover quickly from a disaster.

• Hurricane preparedness, repairing and rebuilding resources and past IBHS articles on Sandy recovery.

Further guidance on general hurricane preparedness and best practices is available on IBHS’ DisasterSafety website at www.disastersafety.org