Safer, Stronger Homes: Reducing Your Risk During a Natural Disaster   [open pdf - 5MB]

"Why should I consider improving the way my home is built? Don't building codes already ensure a home is safe enough? And doesn't insurance take care of any damage anyway? How much does it cost and what do I get in return? -- These are just a few of the questions that come to mind when considering decisions related to upgrading the construction of your new home. At a very basic level, most people probably will admit that they want to avoid costly forms of damage to their home, personal contents, and harm to human life. Yet there are natural forces all around us that we often ignore or pay little attention to for various reasons. We tend to assume the big events like hurricanes and earthquakes are already taken care of through building codes. As you read through this document, you will find that building codes don't fully protect you or your home all of the time. Further, they don't often address damage from smaller events that can prove costly. The first step to considering improvements during construction, or mitigation as it is often called, is to become an informed builder or consumer. That is the primary goal of this guide."

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