Nonprofit shares free Hurricane Ready guides ahead of Hurricane Preparedness Week; recommends getting an early start to avoid supply shortages
Connie Bryant Breedlove
Managing Director, Communications
Public Relations Manager
Richburg, S.C., April 26, 2022 – Ahead of National Hurricane Preparedness Week (May 1-7), the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) encourages home and business owners to act early this year to Be Hurricane Ready by preparing their properties to be more resilient against storm damage. The nonprofit research organization’s free Hurricane Ready guide and downloadable checklist offer research-backed steps to strengthen residential and commercial properties for hurricane season, easing possible impacts from supply shortages and lack of available housing.
As home and business owners grapple with some unique considerations this year, recently released forecasts predict another active hurricane season. Yet, IBHS experts remind both that even a single storm can have lasting impact, so it is critical to prepare to reduce the destruction of these powerful storms.
“We’ve had several active years recently – both in terms of the number of named storms and landfalls – but this August marks 30 years since Hurricane Andrew, one of the most destructive hurricanes to ever hit the U.S.,” explains Dr. Ian Giammanco, lead research meteorologist at IBHS. “Looking back at that devastating Category 5 storm, which came during an otherwise fairly quiet hurricane season, is an important reminder that it only takes one storm to disrupt lives and entire communities.”
To help home and business owners prepare for what this hurricane season brings, the Hurricane Ready guide brings together insights from years of IBHS field and lab research. It recommends a series of projects designed to be tackled ahead of the season, as well as last-minute actions to take before evacuating for a landfalling storm. This year, whether preparing a home or business, keep supply chain shortages in mind, and, to ensure projects can be completed by June 1, begin preparations now.
“After Hurricane Andrew, the importance of not only strong code provisions, but also strong code enforcement became clear. Many coastal areas have made significant progress in strengthening both adoption and enforcement over the past three decades. Yet many of us live or work in structures that aren’t new, and that’s where even small projects can make a big difference,” adds Giammanco. “By tackling projects to strengthen your home or commercial property now, you can minimize the impact of storms later in the season. This year, it is especially important to do what you can to reduce the chance of damage that could displace your family during a tight housing market where it may be difficult to find a temporary home or disrupt operations when businesses are already facing unprecedented challenges, and we must expect delays on materials to repair or rebuild.”
Projects to consider now, ahead of the season, range from low-cost do-it-yourself projects to larger home improvements, including:
- Scheduling a roof inspection and making needed repairs
- Installing a wind-rated garage door
- Purchasing hurricane shutters
- Trimming trees
- Reviewing your insurance policy and creating a home inventory
If a roof inspection reveals it is time for a new roof, have your roofing contractor install it to the FORTIFIED Roof™ standard, which is based on years of scientific research and real-world testing by IBHS. Roofs installed in this way are better able to withstand high winds, keeping the roof on and water out during a hurricane.
“When it’s time to re-roof, take the opportunity to make your home more resilient by installing it to the FORTIFIED standard. That decision will better prepare your family for many hurricane seasons to come, helping to ensure you’ll have a home to return to after the storm,” says Giammanco.
The Hurricane Ready checklist and full guide are available at disastersafety.org/hurricaneready/. For small business owners, the companion Hurricane Ready—Business guide, also found on disastersafety.org, is available to guide preparations unique to commercial properties and business operations, including creating a business continuity plan.
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.