TALE OF TWO HOUSES
Statistics show clearly that homes that have been built to stronger codes or retro-fitted to better withstand storms have significantly better chance of surviving than homes built to lesser standards.
The video at the right shows two homes at the IBHS research lab in South Carolina. The home on the left was built according to standard building codes while the home on the right was built to IBHS standards. Decide for yourself which home you would want to own.
MITIGATION: WHAT IS IT?
The lessons learned from Katrina were painful.
When Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast in August of 2005, at least 1,330 people died including 231 in Mississippi, and 770,000 people were displaced. Katrina impacted 93,000 square miles and 138 counties and parishes in Mississippi and Louisiana and left behind 118 million cubic yards of debris.
But we learned some valuable lessons:
Statistics show a homeowner has a much greater chance of full recovery after a major storm if their home has been strengthened to withstand a 130 mph wind.
Strengthing our homes to withstand hurricane force winds should be a major priority for the coastal areas of our state.
To that end the Mississippi Insurance Department has spearheaded a windstorm mitigation program on the Gulf Coast.
Mitigating a home to that level is relatively inexpensive and quickly done. The mitigation consists of reinforcing roof deck attachments, roof to wall attachments, secondary water barrier on roof decking, additional bracing for gable ends, shuttering openings such as windows and doors and retrofitting exterior doors garage doors.