Tampa, Florida -- Five years after Hurricane Katrina, building codes along the Gulf Coast today are, for the most part, inadequate, according to a report from the Tampa, Florida-based Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS).
In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina caused an estimated $41100 million in insured losses across six states, and took an incalculable economic and social toll on many communities. Five years later, the recovery continues and some residents in the most severely affected states of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi are still struggling, said a 17 Aug IBHS announcement.
"Building codes along the Gulf Coast today are mostly disappointing, with only Louisiana getting high marks for taking proactive steps to adopt a statewide building code," said Wanda Edwards, IBHS' director of code development, after analysing the quality of building codes in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi, with a particular emphasis on progress since Katrina.
This study - "Five Years Later -- Are We Better Prepared?" details IBHS's analysis of pre- and post-Katrina building codes in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi.
Homes built to modern codes are much less likely to be damaged during a hurricane, according to an IBHS study conducted in Charlotte County, Florida, where Hurricane Charley made landfall in 2004. The results show that homes built to modern, well-enforced codes were 60 percent less likely to incur hurricane-related damage than homes constructed before the codes were adopted.
"Modern building codes have been proven time and again to result in better performance for homes and businesses," Edwards said. "States like Alabama and Mississippi must learn from their history of repeated hurricane exposures and do more to protect their citizens."