Communities across North and South Carolina that were severely affected by Hurricane Florence continue to persevere in the storm’s aftermath. Unfortunately, many have a long and arduous road to recovery. However, for others the storm served as a testimony for the importance of jurisdictions to regularly update building codes.

Ron Nickson, a resident of St. James Plantation near Southport, N.C., former employee of the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) and a long-time supporter of the International Code Council, witnessed first-hand the impact building codes had within his community. Living near Wilmington, N.C., which was identified as the eye of the storm, Nickson credits the codes for having kept residents safe and his community intact.

“Florence passed right over my home and the subdivision I live in,” said Nickson. “Most of the homes were built in the last few years and it is very apparent that the new codes are working.” After a tour of the neighborhood shortly after the storm passed, Nickson was pleased to report he did not find any broken windows, missing shingles or structural damage other than that from the direct impact of a fallen tree.

In Nickson’s community, the code restricts the use of vinyl or aluminum siding. Thus, he reports, “other than a couple of cases, there wasn’t any sign of homes with siding damage.”  Highlighting the contrast of damage to buildings constructed with updated codes to those without, Nickson noted that the building used as the subdivision maintenance office was built to outdated codes and constructed with vinyl siding. That building in particular experienced major damage.

According to the National Institute of Building Sciences, the cumulative benefits of pre-disaster mitigation and compliance with updated building codes shows a national benefit of $6 for every $1 invested. Communities that build to the most current codes bounce back faster after a disaster and spend less on rebuilding and recovery.

“I thank the ICC codes for being able to return to my home that was not damaged in any way,” said Nickson. The International Codes (I-Codes) incorporate the latest science and technology that protects against building failures, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires and other modern-day disasters. An updated edition of the I-Codes is published every three years. Fortunately, for communities like that of Ron Nickson, the I-Codes protected from devastating property damage and loss of life.

With news reports announcing impending storms, and predictions of stronger storms in the future, the Code Council remains dedicated, now more than ever, to protecting the health, safety and welfare of people by providing the highest quality codes, standards, products and services.

For more hurricane safety and resources, click here.

The Code Council recognizes Ron Nickson for his expertise in the development of the I-Codes over the many years that he has represented the National Multifamily Housing Council and has been involved in the building safety industry.