Guides to Disaster Resistant Coastal Construction Available for Fla. Libraries

July 5, 2005

The function of housewrap and the importance of roof-to-wall and deck-to-wall flashing are among many topics covered in the “Home Builders Guide to Coastal Construction,” a series of technical fact sheets that will be available soon in libraries throughout the state. Florida building officials are also receiving the information.

“We have been working to educate people on the best ways to build or reinforce their homes,” said Scott Morris, director of Florida long-term recovery for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). “Originally, the effort was concentrated in the 15 counties that had the most damage from the four hurricanes that stormed through Florida in 2004, but response in those communities has been so overwhelming that we are now distributing the guides statewide.”

Guidelines on installation of siding, connectors, and storm shutters, as well as construction of breakaway walls and enclosures for elevated homes, are also provided in the fact sheets.

“The fact sheets explain how coastal construction requirements differ from inland construction and what coastal construction is,” said Larry Koslick, statewide recovery manager for the Florida Department of Emergency Management. “They also explain how to use Flood Insurance Rate Maps, and such things as the definition of ‘lowest floor’ elevation.”

More than 350 libraries are slated to receive copies of the information for distribution. Teams of FEMA mitigation officers have distributed copies to more than 327 libraries thus far. Of the 310 building permitting offices, 259 have received printed copies of the technical facts sheets as well as DVDs. The remainder will receive the information soon.

In addition, building officials are receiving the Blueprint for Safety Field Manual. The manual, which is an element of the Blueprint for Safety educational program and provides information about disaster-resistant building techniques, is being used to train building inspectors.

The safety field manual was developed by the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), the Florida Department of Community Affairs, the Florida Home Builders Association, FEMA, and the National Flood Insurance Program. FLASH is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting disaster safety and property loss mitigation.

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