Preparing for Hurricane Idalia

ICC Pulse Web Header v1

Preparing for Hurricane Idalia

The International Code Council is monitoring Hurricane Idalia as it rapidly intensifies and moves northward to take aim at Florida, Georgia and South Carolina tomorrow, August 30, 2023. Idalia is forecasted to be a strong Category 3 hurricane with forecasted winds of 125 mph or more. Life-threatening storm surge is possible along much of the Florida west coast, with areas between the Aucilla River and Yankeetown potentially experiencing destructive waves of 10 to 15 feet above ground level. Florida residents in affected areas should listen to advice given by state and local officials, including the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

Hurricane-force winds are possible in the hurricane watch area in west-central Florida beginning this evening, Tuesday, August 29, into Wednesday morning, August 30. Residents in this area should ensure that they have their hurricane plans in place.

For the latest forecast and additional safety information, please visit the National Hurricane Center and the Code Council’s hurricane safety and resources page. 

Managing Your Flood Risk

The Code Council and our partners at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) remind everyone that floods can happen anywhere, not just during or after a hurricane. Most homeowners’ insurance does not cover flood damage. Flood insurance is a separate policy that can cover buildings, the contents of a building, or both, so it is important to protect your financial assets including your home, your business and your possessions.

Disaster Recovery Resource for Code Officials 

When disasters strike, codes and standards serve as a baseline for the return to safe, sanitary and habitable buildings. Code officials and their floodplain management counterparts rely on support from emergency managers and community leaders to help secure the critical resources needed to ensure the health, safety and welfare of the community. To that end, FEMA has a disaster policy specifically aimed at providing much-needed assistance for code officials and floodplain managers during disaster response and initial recovery for up to 180 days following a major disaster declaration. Learn how to apply for building code administration and enforcement assistance here. 

This policy, administered under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program, offers reimbursement for critical community functions such as building code administration, code enforcement, floodplain management administration and enforcement, and conducts substantial damage surveys inspections in affected communities. For more information, visit the Code Council’s resource page. 

Mitigation Opportunities

The Code Council and FEMA support community-based mitigation strategies that decrease risk and repetitive loss while increasing a community’s resilience to disasters. As part of those strategies, the adoption and enforcement of building codes has been identified as a federal priority, across FEMA’s BRIC and Hazard Mitigation Grant Programs as well as HUD's Community Development Block Grant disaster recovery and mitigation programs.

Eligible building code adoption and enforcement activities are activities that: 

  • Evaluate adoption and/or implementation of codes that reduce risk. 
  • Enhance existing adopted codes to incorporate more current requirements or higher standards. 
  • Develop professional workforce capabilities through technical assistance and training. 

For more information on the disaster-resistant provisions of the International Codes® or federal mitigation grant programs, contact your Code Council Government Relations Regional Manager or Karl Fippinger, Vice President - Government Relations, Fire and Disaster Mitigation, at  

Disaster Response Alliance  

As an aid to community disaster response, the Code Council and the National Council of Structural Engineers Associations (NCSEA) sponsor the Disaster Response Alliance (DRA). The DRA maintains a national database of skilled, trained, and certified building safety professionals who are standing by and ready to assist communities in need.  

The DRA has assembled a cadre of skilled code officials, engineers and others from across the country who are willing to assist with post-disaster safety assessments, building damage assessments, inspections and surge support for other code-related functions. The Disaster Response Alliance brings together skilled, volunteer second responders in one place for easy access and quick mobilization. Federal, state, local, tribal and territorial entities may request assistance directly through the DRA website. 

Interested in becoming a DRA resource? 

The DRA is always looking for volunteers. If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a DRA second responder resource, please visit the Volunteer Now link on the DRA website. Architects, engineers and building safety professionals willing to make a difference during times of disaster are encouraged to apply. The DRA is also looking for individuals with specialized skills, knowledge, or abilities such as plans examiners, permit technicians, and building inspectors.