ISO Joins FLASH to Promote Stronger Building Codes

October 23, 2013

ISO has joined the national nonprofit Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) to encourage communities to build disaster-resistant buildings that can withstand hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and other catastrophic events. ISO is a member of the Verisk Insurance Solutions group at Verisk Analytics.

ISO evaluates the effectiveness and enforcement of building codes in more than 21,000 individual communities nationwide representing 87 percent of the U.S. population, and grades them in the Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS). The program encourages the most current code adoption, and rigorous enforcement efforts.

“We’re excited to work with a leading organization such as ISO to spread the word about disaster safety and empower individuals, families, and communities to invest in strong, safe, and sustainable homes,” said FLASH President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson. “Joining forces with the most influential and talented minds to promote best building and enforcement practices is essential to making America more disaster resilient.”

“Our core belief is that strong, well-enforced codes are the underpinning of a community’s ability to better withstand natural disasters,” said Robert L. Andrews, vice president of ISO Community Hazard Mitigation. “FLASH’s efforts align perfectly with the goal of our BCEGS classification system, and we look forward to working with them to improve building codes and construction. Alarmingly, some of the most vulnerable parts of the country are under-protected due to poor enforcement efforts or outdated code editions.”

In Oklahoma, more than 95 percent of all tornadoes have a National Weather Service rating of EF1 or EF2, producing maximum wind speeds of 135 miles per hour. An ISO analysis revealed that in virtually the entire region commonly known as Tornado Alley, current construction standards are for wind speeds up to 90 miles per hour. In contrast, communities in many of the Atlantic Coast states build to withstand 135 mile-per-hour wind speeds, establishing improved standards to help save lives and minimize property damage.

BCEGS is designed to promote catastrophe-resistant buildings, which can reduce property losses and the economic and social disruption that results from catastrophes. The program is provided at no cost to the community or jurisdiction being evaluated.

Source: ISO, FLASH

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