Change the way a home is built; it's stronger for one family. Change building codes and policy; the whole community is more resilient.
We support policies that make our communities stronger, recognize FORTIFIED as the State standard for mitigation, provide tax incentives, and implement smart financing solutions like mitigation grant programs. We continue to educate elected officials about the benefits of FORTIFIED and resilient communities so they can make informed decisions for their communities.
In 2009, we supported Alabama passing a law making FORTIFIED the standard for resilient construction and allowing substantial insurance discounts for homes built this way. Ironically, there were no FORTIFIED homes in the State at the time, but our supporters and our team saw the benefits. Soon after, many coastal cities saw the benefits of being resilient and created a “Code Supplement,” allowing them to adopt FORTIFIED recommendations into their building codes and making every home built afterward “code-plus.”
Before Hurricane Ivan in 2004, our founding Board members searched for ways to build better. They found FORTIFIED; a tested, proven, and voluntary construction method that resists damage from severe weather and hurricanes with up to category three (Cat 3) force winds.
Now, there are more than 10,000 FORTIFIED homes in Alabama and thousands more built "beyond code" or much stronger than “normally” built homes. This is our primary impact and is what we are working with our partners to accomplish in dozens of communities across the nation.
Since our founding, FORTIFIED has grown exponentially in our initial service area of Alabama and Mississippi. We now support resilience initiatives and organizations in ten states.
Every three years, jurisdictions can adopt new building codes. In just a short time, more than 70 percent of jurisdictions in our initial service adopted the most recent building codes. Most impressively, in our initial Alabama service area, over 50 percent of jurisdictions have adopted the Code Supplement, putting FORTIFIED's recommendations into their building codes.
Alabama was the first state to allow insurance discounts for homes built, re-roofed or retrofitted to FORTIFIED standards, by law in 2009. Now discounts range from 20-50 percent and span statewide, as of January 1, 2018. Mississippi has similar incentives. Now, five states have passed similar legislation, and many others provide incentives for mitigating homes and businesses. It started in Alabama, and the model built there is being replicated, modified, and utilized across the nation to make us stronger and safer. That makes us proud.