National Safety Group Publications Offer Tips for Hurricane Readiness

May 1, 2006

The Institute for Business & Home Safety, a national nonprofit initiative of the insurance industry, says post-hurricane damage investigations over the last two seasons led its engineers to develop property protection recommendations that in some cases concern areas not previously considered vulnerable, such as soffits.

The following publications now available from IBHS detail practical steps to help strengthen structures, secure manufactured homes and protect windows and doors:

“S” Marks the Spot is the organization’s new hurricane protection guide focusing on five areas of the home, each starting with the letter “S,” where IBHS engineers noted frequent weaknesses emerged under high wind conditions. The guide offers tips on protecting homes by paying special attention to soffits, shingles, shutters, seals and surroundings.

The “Manufactured Home Inspection Checklist” has been updated based on the unique issues facing these homes and makes recommendations on how to address each element, such as tie-downs and add-on structures like carports and porches, that makes them vulnerable to high wind. Manufactured homes are units built off site and installed or assembled on site, including those that are propped on a pier foundation and anchored to the ground with steel straps.

“Keep Wind and Water Out” outlines various shutter materials and explains how to install them so windows and doors are well protected. In 2004, where Hurricane Charley’s local gust wind speeds exceeded 120 miles per hour, IBHS found fully one-third of buildings with unprotected openings suffered at least one broken window. Wind entering a home looks for a way out, often leading to the failure of other windows, doors or roof sheathing. On older homes that are not tied together well, it can lead to the loss of the whole roof.

All IBHS publications are available on the organization’s web site or free single copies can be requested by emailing or calling toll free 1 (866) 657-4247.

Source: Institute for Business & Home Safety

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