The losses of life and property after Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina, combined with the costly insurance crisis that followed, brought together a diverse group of local citizens in Alabama and Mississippi.
These concerned citizens knew we could not continue business as usual. They were determined to improve local planning practices and educate communities about how to protect their future.
This group identified the IBHSFORTIFIED construction standard as a way to prevent the type of incredible loss they’d seen. They founded Smart Home America, which became the first organization to systematically implement FORTIFIED standards as a solution to natural hazard mitigation.
FORTIFIED has allowed Coastal Alabama to build its way out of the insurance crisis and into a more resilient region. We advocated for improving building codes, the use of beyond code building standards, smart financing solutions, and new policies to strengthen communities.
Partners such as Habitat for Humanity proved that resilience could be achieved affordably and effectively. Our approach changed how communities built and planned for severe weather.
Our work began over a decade ago in Alabama, which now leads the nation in FORTIFIED construction and is a model for predisaster mitigation planning and development. Currently, we support many other states and communities which look to build resilience on their terms.