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Inconsistent building codes make some states more vulnerable to hurricanes

Codes and Standards

Inconsistent building codes make some states more vulnerable to hurricanes

Florida takes top spot for strongest building code in latest IBHS survey.


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | June 16, 2021

States lacking consistent statewide building codes are most vulnerable to the effects of hurricanes, according to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) 2021 edition of Rating the States.

Georgia, New York, Maine, New Hampshire, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Delaware, lack a mandatory statewide building code, and are therefore ranked as “poor” in hurricane resilience, the institute says. Some jurisdictions within those states fare better such as Alabama’s two coastal counties which have adopted stricter codes.

Florida ranked as the top spot for strongest building code, followed by Virginia. Rating the States is released every three years following the building code update cycle of the International Code Council (ICC) and tracks coastal states from Maine to Texas.

Massachusetts saw the largest decline of any state, coming in three points lower than in the 2018 edition because the state removed the wind-borne debris requirements for coastal areas.

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