From Response to Recovery

Now that Hurricane Florence has passed, our work is just beginning. Communities across North and South Carolina were severely affected by the storm, and the recovery process will surely be long and arduous for many.

For on-the-ground information from the affected areas, download the following reports: University of Florida Wind Hazard Damage Assessment Group's Preliminary Damage Report. Structural Engineering Extreme Events Reconnaissance (StEER) Network's Early Access Reconnaissance Report with assessment team members from North Carolina Sea Grant, Auburn University and Clemson University.

The American Red Cross responds in the immediate aftermath of a disaster like Florence to provide clean water, safe shelter and hot meals. Together we raised thousands of dollars to help those affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma last year, and we know that many of you are looking for ways to help those in the Carolinas today. You can learn more about Red Cross efforts and donate at www.redcross.org.

Disaster response efforts are still ongoing. In addition, building safety professionals in the affected areas are readying to help their communities get back on their feet. The immediate concern is assessing damaged properties to determine if people can return to their homes and businesses.

Code Council staff are in contact with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and will work with our members in North and South Carolina to help as needed. During the recovery process, we will collaborate with our partners to gather lessons learned to support the development of future code change proposals to our building codes and standards if necessary.

This recent tragedy reminds us of the importance of pre-disaster mitigation and modern building codes. Reports from last year in Texas and Florida show that buildings built to the latest International Building Code fared far better than those built to outdated codes. Families in those houses were back in their homes faster and businesses were back up and running sooner after the disasters. Those findings aren't surprising. Study after study confirms that adopting and effectively implementing current model building codes is one of the nation's best defenses against hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, flooding and other natural disasters and is a reasonable way to protect what for many is their most important investment – their home or business. Learn more.

While we hope that Florence is the worst storm we'll see this year, the Atlantic hurricane season runs until November 30. Visit our hurricane safety and information webpage for resources that help people prepare for, and deal with, these devastating storms. Please share with your networks.

If you are interested in adding your name to the International Code Council's Disaster Response Network to help communities after a major disaster, contact Kelly Sadler at (888) 422-7233, ext. 5566, or ksadler@iccsafe.org.