Change the way a home is built; it's stronger for one family. Change building codes and policy; the community is more resilient for all.
We support policies that make our communities stronger, that recognize FORTIFIED as the State standard for mitigation, and that provide tax incentives and implement smart financing solutions, including 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 that way. Ironically, there were no FORTIFIED homes in the State at the time, but we and our supporters saw the benefits. Soon after, many coastal cities saw the benefits as well of being resilient and created a “Code Supplement”, allowing them to adopt FORTIFIED recommendations into their building codes, making every home built afterward “code-plus.”
Before Hurricane Ivan in 2004, our founding Board members searched for ways to build better knowing we had to change our approach to development. They found FORTIFIED; a tested, proven, and voluntary way to build that resists damage from severe weather and hurricanes with up to category three (Cat 3) force winds.
Now, there are nearly 4,000 FORTIFIED homes in Alabama and thousands more are “code-plus” or much stronger than “regularly” built homes. This is our impact and is what we are working with our partners to accomplish in nine states and in dozens of communities across the nation.
Since our founding, FORTIFIED has grown exponentially in our initial service area of Alabama and Mississippi. There are over 4,500 homes built to the standard in both states, the majority in Alabama. In 2015, FORTIFIED grew 137% in Alabama over a six month period and in less than a year, over 1,000 FORTIFIED homes were built in the State. We now support organizations and communities in nine states because of the successful model we built along the Gulf Coast.
Every three years, jurisdictions can adopt new building codes. In just a short time, more than 70% of jurisdictions in our initial service adopted the most recent building codes. Most impressively, in our initial Alabama service area, over 50% 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% and the go statewide January 1, 2018. Mississippi has similar incentives. Now, five states, most recently Oklahoma in May 2017, 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.