Stronger building codes and mitigation programs including FORTIFIED Home™ proved effective in minimizing damage across home values when Hurricane Michael devastated the Florida panhandle, a new post-event investigation from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) finds.
Hurricane Michael made landfall on October 10, 2018 near Panama City, Florida with sustained winds of approximately 160 mph according to NOAA with 54,000 structures damaged.
Yet post-event analysis shows the resilience of beyond-code construction techniques as typical building codes are not designed to prevent all losses. Homes in the FORTIFIED Home program as well as Habitat for Strong Residences program proved effective in minimizing wind damage in some of the hardest hit communities of Mexico Beach and Panama City.
The IBHS investigation found roof cover loss was one of the most common modes of damage for residences. Using a sealed roof deck can minimize damage as loss of roof cover is the most frequent damage in major wind events and leads to costly water intrusion.
"The roof is the most critical element of a home, protecting everything inside. Making it a stronger with a sealed FORTIFIED Roof™ gives your home a better chance when facing high winds," says Roy Wright, President & CEO of IBHS. "The science has laid out that disasters don't need to be having the impact they are. We can narrow the path damage and make our homes stronger."
The performance of the FORTIFIED Homes and the Habitat Strong homes demonstrates it is possible for all homes, regardless of home value, to be built resiliently to decrease losses and allow homeowners to return home sooner.
Read about the investigation: ibhs.org/wind/post-hurricane-investigations/
About FORTIFIED Home
Please visit fortifiedhome.org to learn more about the IBHS FORTIFIED Home program, including the designation process, how to identify a certified FORTIFIED Evaluator and other valuable resources.
About the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS)
The IBHS mission is to conduct objective, scientific research to identify and promote effective actions that strengthen homes, businesses and communities against natural disasters and other causes of loss. Learn more about IBHS at DisasterSafety.org.