Mitigation: What is it?

Statistics show clearly that homes that have been built to more robust codes or retro-fitted to withstand storms better have a significantly better chance of surviving than homes built to lesser standards.

The video at the left 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 house on the right was built to IBHS standards. Decide for yourself which home you would want to own.

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:

Build better

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.

How Can The Mitigation Program Help?

To help Mississippians identify how they can strengthen their homes against hurricanes, the mitigation program will offer free wind inspections by qualified hurricane mitigation inspectors to eligible homeowners. The program was made possible by an act of the Mississippi Legislature 2007.

Not an Entitlement Program

  • Homeowners whose homes have undergone wind certification and hurricane mitigation inspections approved by MID may be eligible to apply for matching grants.
  • The program will work with local governments to offer low-income homeowners an opportunity to strengthen their homes against natural disasters.
  • Properties not eligible include mobile homes and manufactured homes, apartments, condominiums, multi-family dwellings and businesses.

A Wind Inspection Will

  • Outline improvements that may be made to the home to increase resistance to hurricane wind damage.
  • Provide an estimate of how much each improvement would cost to complete.
  • Provide an estimate of insurance discounts that may be available.
  • Offer a hurricane resistance rating that shows the home’s current ability, and future ability with improvements, to withstand hurricanes.

Insurance Discounts

  • If you provide insurance information at the time you applied for an inspection and you are eligible for an insurance discount based on the inspection of your home, you will receive a mitigation form completed and signed by the MID-approved inspector who conducted your free wind inspection.
  • Your wind inspection report will give you an estimate of the discounts you might receive on the wind-portion of your homeowners insurance premium. Savings will vary depending on the improvements you make.
  • The homeowner is NOT obligated to make the alterations or repairs.


  • You will be reimbursed when improvements have been completed.
  • You must use an approved contractor to make improvements and improvements must be made within 12 months of the grant award date on your letter.