BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Most homes built to the FORTIFIED standard are in Coastal Alabama – the spot Hurricane Sally hit the hardest.
“Everyone was looking at Coastal Alabama because of the number of FORTIFIED homes here, and it was just really validating to see how well it performed,” said Alex Carey, FORTIFIED’s Market Development Manager.
FORTIFIED is a building standard set up under the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. These standards go beyond typical building codes to beef up a home’s storm resistance.
In all of Baldwin County – and in some parts of Mobile County – new roofs have to be built to the FORTIFIED standard in order to meet code as part of the Coastal Construction Code Supplement. Those measures include stronger nails and sealed roof decks, the combination of which helps keep roofs intact while also keeping water from coming in through the seams.
Even though this is now part of the code, you still have to get your home evaluated for it to officially be deemed FORTIFIED. This does come with a cost, but also gives homeowners an insurance discount.
Regarding how FORTIFIED homes weathered Hurricane Sally, “it’s that moment where we’re like ‘yeah what we were telling you, that really happened and it really worked, and now look – it really really worked,” said Julie Shiyou-Woodard, President and CEO Smart Home America. “It’s really hard to communicate with homeowners peace of mind, it’s really hard to communicate that until you lose it.”