ICC Prepared to Help Communities, Member Jurisdictions
in Rebuilding Efforts
The Code Council extends its deepest sympathies to the communities in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia that were devastated by the recent tornado outbreak, and to those in Missouri, North Carolina and elsewhere that were previously affected by severe weather events. ICC Member Jurisdictions in need of assistance during their rebuilding efforts can call the Code Council’s DISASTER SUPPORT HOTLINE at 888-422-7233 (ext. 5222). The Council will work with organizations such as the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the National Storm Shelter Association and others to apply lessons learned from these tragic events to enhance the science of building safety and to create better buildings and safer communities.
People Helping People…In Action
ICC, MBI Team Up to Assist Building and Fire Officials
The International Code Council (ICC) and the Modular Building Institute (MBI) have teamed up to assist local Building Officials and Fire Officials in tornado-stricken states that need temporary office spaces. MBI, through its nationwide membership network, has agreed to work with the International Code Council to donate up to 10,000 sq. ft. of office space rent free for 12 months.
Recent tornadoes in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Virginia, Tennessee, Texas and other states have left trails of death and destruction that have impacted building and fire departments. These affected jurisdictions face extraordinary challenges in the months ahead. Rebuilding safer and stronger communities requires permitting and inspection agencies to be fully functional to support the recovery and rebuilding efforts.
“Building Officials and other responders are critical to the recovery of our communities and it is important that these officials be in the best position to help,” Code Council CEO Richard P. Weiland said. “Many of these individuals have suffered their own personal losses but are putting their professional responsibilities ahead of themselves, joining the searches for survivors, ensuring the remaining buildings are safe for occupancy and doing what they have been trained to do every day on their jobs. We are grateful to the Modular Building Institute for its commitment to safety and generous offer to donate office space.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of these natural disasters,” said Tom Hardiman, Director of MBI. “I’m glad our industry is in a position to help respond.”
Communities seeking the office spaces will need to provide transport and installation costs and work with MBI members on logistical matters. If your jurisdiction has been affected by a tornado or you know of an ICC Member Jurisdictions in need of assistance, call the Code Council's DISASTER SUPPORT HOTLINE at 888-422-7233 (ext. 5222).
Massachusetts Begins Rebuilding Efforts
Massachusetts was battered by a series of tornadoes on June 1 that left at least four dead and hundreds injured or homeless. The Department of Public Safety dispatched all of its building inspectors to various locations in the western part of the state, which was the area most affected by the tornadoes.
The inspectors assembled in Springfield and Ware, Mass., Friday, June 3, and began to assess damages with the assistance of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), the National Guard and other emergency response personnel. The inspection teams performed Rapid Valuations of buildings and structures in accordance with Applied Technology Council (ATC) methodologies. The valuations found that damages ranged from minor total losses. Home and places of businesses across the region may be posted with color coded placards:
- Green: Suitable to occupy
- Yellow: Proceed with caution (follow notes on the placard)
- Red/Orange: Not fit for occupancy, seek professional assistance
As the rebuilding efforts continue, Massachusetts homeowners affected by the tornadoes are encouraged to be wary of untrustworthy home contractors, "storm chasers," and door-to-door peddlers offering dubious deals. Homeowners should contact their municipal Building Department to ensure required permits are in place and contractors have all required credentials to avoid further hardship. For further clarification, please contact your local building department, as well as the following websites/telephone numbers:
Massachusetts Department of Public Safety:
Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs & Business Regulations:
Joplin’s Stoebel is Safe Following May 22 Tornado
Amy Barenklau, President of the Kansas City Metro Association of Permit Technicians, reports that one of the Chapter Board Members lost her home in the tragic half-mile wide tornado that hit Joplin, Mo., May 22. Amy says Marci Stoebel, who works for the City of Joplin, escaped injury. There is no communication in Joplin, so it’s not known yet if Marci’s office was also destroyed by the storm.
Tuscaloosa's Boswell: We're Safe
Tuscaloosa, Ala., Chief Building Official Alan Boswell reports that he and staff at the city's Inspection Services Department are safe following an EF-4 tornado that struck the city on April 27. He is grateful the storm hit in the middle of the day when people were awake, alert, and able to take cover, rather than the middle of the night. Most students at the University of Alabama were on campus rather than in their apartments, which were badly damaged.
Right now, Boswell says city officials remain focused on Search & Rescue efforts. This week (May 1-7 and maybe longer), he says efforts will shift to Search and Recovery and after that they can start clearing debris and begin rebuilding plans. Boswell says many Members from South Alabama and undamaged parts of Mississippi are offering their assistance during the process.
— Karla Higgs, Vice President of Member Services
Webinar on Safety Evaluation of
Building after Wind Storms and Floods
The Code Council and Applied Technology Council (ATC) are providing a recorded webinar to offer training on the ATC-45 Field Manual: Safety Evaluation of Buildings after Wind Storms and Floods. Webinar participants will learn about the manual’s contents, which was published in 2004 by the ATC. The ATC-45 Field Manual provides guidelines and procedures to determine whether damaged or potentially damaged buildings are safe for use after wind storms or floods, or if entry should be restricted or prohibited. The Field Manual gives advice on evaluating structural, geotechnical, and nonstructural risks, and suggestions on how to rate the safety significance of certain types of damage. The Field Manual also covers related topics of interest to safety personnel, including how to deal with owners and occupants of damaged buildings and field safety issues.
Contact the Code Council and let us know how your Jursidiction was affected and the current status of your community area.