Tampa, Fla. (PRWEB) September 14, 2011
September is National Preparedness Month and the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) calls upon property owners to invest in structural hardening measures that will reduce or prevent property damage due to natural and man-made hazards.
The U.S. has experienced numerous severe weather events this year, including tornadoes in Joplin, Mo. and Tuscaloosa, Ala., wildfires in Texas and Oklahoma and most recently, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. These disasters have left hundreds dead and caused billions of dollars in property damage.
“The severe and frequent natural catastrophes that have struck the U.S. this year demonstrate the need to be better and constantly prepared,” said Julie Rochman, IBHS president & CEO. “We cannot stop Mother Nature’s wrath, but we can be do more to reduce the toll she takes on communities across the country.”
The first step for residents to be prepared is to determine the natural hazards common in their area. IBHS’ website, http://www.disastersafety.org offers a ZIP Code–based tool that will generate a list of the risks common to various geographic areas. Each type of risk is linked to a list of practical, specific measures home and business owners can use to help minimize the impact of natural disasters such as windstorms, hurricanes, flooding, earthquakes, wildfires, severe winter weather and hailstorms.
“For homeowners, structural hardening efforts can help protect their family from being injured and their home from being destroyed,” Rochman said. “For business owners, the combination of structural hardening efforts and business continuity planning will improve a business’ chance of not just re-opening, but also remaining a functional, viable operation.”
Rochman stressed the need for a proactive approach to preparedness. “We need to create a culture that truly values preparedness and resiliency as a corporate, community, and individual responsibility,” Rochman said. “We must recognize that preparedness and planned resilience are critical to long-term survival and economic well-being.”
To arrange an interview with IBHS, contact Joseph King at 813-675-1045/813-442-2845, jking(at)ibhs(dot)org or via direct message on Twitter @jsalking.
IBHS is an independent, nonprofit, scientific and educational organization supported by the property insurance industry. The organization works to reduce the social and economic effects of natural disasters and other risks to residential and commercial property by conducting research and advocating improved construction, maintenance and preparation practices.