Severe weather disrupts lives, displaces families, and drives financial loss. IBHS delivers top-tier science and translates it into action so we can prevent avoidable suffering, strengthen our homes and businesses, inform the insurance industry, and support thriving communities.
Why We Need IBHS
IBHS exists to bring the best science to the places where people live—where they learn, work, worship, and gather—ensuring safety, stability, and strength. We focus on the interaction of severe weather and the built environment. Our expertise encompasses engineering, meteorology, fire science, materials science, public policy, analytics, and other areas of continuously advancing science. We unite these disciplines to understand how weather behaves and how structures respond to severe weather conditions.
While not all damage can be avoided, IBHS science demonstrates that Americans are not powerless against severe weather—it is possible to tangibly reduce the damage inflicted every year. We can drive down the cost curve by preventing damage due to severe weather and reduce the physical and financial toll from the worst events around the globe. We know it is possible, affordable, and just plain good sense to construct and retrofit buildings to be strong enough to defend against these threats. For this to occur, IBHS must translate our science into guidance for use by home and business owners, building professionals who design and build the places where people live and work, manufacturers who produce the materials used in construction and retrofits, and public policymakers who shape how our built environment will look and perform. As our knowledge expands through our research, we look for new insights and opportunities to drive resilience for the future.
IBHS is known for our iconic Research Center and relentless focus on buildings, but we succeed because of our people—the intellectual capital and passion we bring to bear on everything we do. Our “Why” statement reflects the diversity across our organization and encapsulates our team’s deep desire to make a difference in the lives of others. The IBHS Core Values—Integrity, Professional Excellence, Credibility, and Real-World Impact—describe the essence of the IBHS team that allows the pursuits outlined here to flourish.
Broad Engagement — It’s More Than Just IBHS
While IBHS acts as a center of gravity on some key elements of the Nation’s resiliency agenda, no advancements come solely because of IBHS’s actions. This Disaster Safety Strategy (DSS) is broader than IBHS. Through cooperation and co-creation, IBHS works closely with like-minded public, private, academic, and nonprofit organizations to advance a cohesive message on the need for resiliency and the pathways forward.
The DSS articulates three pathways that define the leading efforts of the Institute. Recognizing that additional organizational work that fulfills our mission expands beyond these three vectors, these pathways embody the core focus of IBHS. Inside each of these three—1. Lead with the Roof; 2. Solve with Research on Vulnerability and Loss; and 3. Prevent Avoidable Damage—there exists a broad spectrum of work that enables IBHS to hit the finish lines.
Throughout the document, specific commitments illustrate progress to be made. The Commitments will be achieved over the course of two years. A supporting DSS Implementation Plan adds the next level of detail and assures that IBHS is accountable to deliver on the Strategy.
Lead Performance Indicators
- Make FORTIFIED Roof IBHS’s marquee product line. In advancing this product, streamline FORTIFIED Roof, making it more affordable and accessible.
- Consumers deserve to have confidence that products labeled as resilient live up to expectations; therefore, publicize the performance results of the hail impact-resistant asphalt shingle testing. Building on that success, identify other building components where such performance evaluations would influence consumer choices.
- Conduct research to provide consumer- and contractor-oriented guidance on the most cost-effective ways to build and retrofit resiliently.
- Examine the performance of vulnerable building components (beyond asphalt shingles) that could begin the cascade of damage—e.g., metal, membrane, tile, and other roof covers; garage doors; and photovoltaic panels.
- Embed product managers on project teams to develop a clear sense of what best fits in a formal research report, a Member insight publication, or in a consumer-facing medium to drive action and informed choice-making. Leverage and improve the impact of existing research so it is useful and deployable.
- Leverage past research to more fully apply in the codes and standards arena. Using a “Rating the States” approach, evaluate the code environment and suggest improvements for other states and metropolitan areas within our core perils.
- Bring observers inside the perils studied at the Research Center by demonstrating how elements of disasters play out.