|Fortified Homes Builders Guide|
In previous blogs, I have advocated for the construction industry to design and build for resiliency to natural disasters, but this level of event surpasses any preventative measures. There is no way we can predict this type of ‘perfect storm,’ nor can we prevent the impact. At best we can try to fortify our buildings and infrastructures to help protect human lives, and pull together as we rebuild after the storm. We can learn to prepare ourselves with emergency provisions, cooperate with authorities during the event, and rise to the occasion by extending our help to others in need.
The first step in developing an emergency plan it to understand the types of natural hazards for the area that you are in. The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety’s Fortified Home program provides information based on zipcodes, and issues a very comprehensive builder’s manual to help retrofit or fortify homes as best possible. The website: http://www.ready.gov offers some good guidelines to get ready. From the reports coming from the impact of Sandy, it appears that the authorities in this area have learned from previous disasters, and have emergency management systems in place, good cooperation with FEMA. But it is important that we recognize our own responsibility to plan, prepare and cooperate with the community disaster plan. For those of us on the periphery, we can only watch, learn, and get prepared for the next time, which may be in our own backyards..