Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Disaster Preparation and Building Codes - Florida is Number One

According to the linked article, Florida's building codes are rated the best for hurricane protection.  Building codes and land use ordinances are critical in the preparation for natural disasters like hurricanes.  The videos of houses being swept out to sea off of spits on barrier islands are dramatic, but also demonstrate why building on lands likely to flood makes little sense.  Building codes, land use codes, and other similar measures protect against unnecessary loss of property (and life) in the face of natural disasters.  No different than earthquake building codes, hurricane building codes help ensure that the roof won't blow off and the buildings won't collapse during a hurricane.  The article points out how some other Gulf states received very poor scores for their building codes.  If we are going to prevent excessive and unnecessary damage from hurricanes and windstorms, building codes need to be updated and land use codes need to be implemented that address these risks.  Congratulations to Florida for learning this valuable lesson.  Now its up to the other Gulf states and other shoreline communities to get on board with preventing unnecessary damages caused by natural disasters.

To learn more about disasters caused by nature and how to prepare and respond to them, please visit the American Bar Association's Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section's Disaster Initiative page and join us on May 17, 2012, in Charleston, SC, for a great program on Disasters Caused by Acts of Nature.  For more information, click here.

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