IBHS Offers Recovery Resources to Midwest Residents Affected by Tornadoes

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Leading national expert providing guidance for repairing and rebuilding structures after a catastrophe to make them more disaster-resistant

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This is a troubling reminder of how unpredictable our environment can be and how important it is for home and business owners to take steps to reduce their risk before the next tornado strikes.

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is providing recovery and rebuilding sources for Midwest residents affected by this weekend’s deadly tornado outbreak.

According to the National Weather Service, there were more than 120 reports of tornadoes over the weekend, with the majority of the reports in Kansas with others coming from northwest Oklahoma, Nebraska and Iowa.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), tornado reports have risen dramatically over the past year. There were 379 preliminary tornado reports in the first quarter of 2012 compared to 154 tornado reports in the first quarter of 2011 – a 146 percent increase. The 20-year average for the first quarter of the year is 144 tornadoes, according to data from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.

“While April marks the traditional start to the U.S. tornado season, this is the second straight year the U.S. has experienced above average tornado activity in the first quarter,” said Julie Rochman, president & CEO of IBHS. “This is a troubling reminder of how unpredictable our environment can be and how important it is for home and business owners to take steps to reduce their risk before the next tornado strikes.”

IBHS is a leading national expert on preparing for and repairing and rebuilding structures after a catastrophe to make them more disaster-resistant. IBHS’ Before and After Tornadoes: Resources to Prepare for and Rebuild After the Storm, offers property owners information from IBHS engineers and researchers with expertise in the fields of wind-related building performance for residential and commercial structures and the behavior of tornadoes and their destructive patterns to assist them as they repair and rebuild.

Specifically, information about the following topics is available:

  •     Post-Storm Guidance
  •     Rebuilding After a Tornado
  •     Reducing risk from tornadoes, high winds and hurricanes
  •     When a Tornado Threatens
  •     Preparing for Tornadoes
  •     Publications & Other Resources

Related information that is available includes:

  •     IBHS analysis of hail storm and tornado frequency
  •     IBHS Hail Loss Fact Sheet

Testing conducted at the IBHS Research Center demonstrated that strengthening critical areas of structures in accordance with the IBHS FORTIFIED® stronger, safer construction standard is an effective method of reducing damage caused by the high frequency/low severity storms that comprise the majority of weather events including EF-0 to EF-2 tornadoes.

“We cannot prevent tornadoes,” said Rochman. “But we can reduce the level of damage and loss of life these horrific storms can cause by repairing and rebuilding homes and businesses that are stronger, safer and more resistant to severe weather.”

To arrange an interview with an IBHS expert, contact Joseph King at 813-675-1045/813-442-2845, jking(at)ibhs(dot)org or via direct message on Twitter @jsalking.

About the IBHS
IBHS is an independent, nonprofit, scientific research and communications organization supported by the property insurance industry. The organization works to reduce the social and economic effects of natural disasters and other risks on residential and commercial property by conducting building science research and advocating improved construction, maintenance and preparedness practices.

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