The devastation caused by the recent tornadoes and thunderstorms has highlighted how critical building safety is to overall public safety, property protection, and to our economic lifeblood. Fittingly, President Obama has proclaimed May as National Building Safety Month in order to heighten awareness of the key role that the development and construction of safe residential and commercial building standards plays in the fight against catastrophic damage caused by disasters.
So in light of National Building Safety month, I wanted to share FEMA’s efforts in this area, along with some additional resources to help make your home or business better prepared for a disaster.
What We’re Doing
As an agency, FEMA works with national building code organizations and building officials on a daily basis to help develop effective building codes and standards that will make structures safer and more resilient. As part of the agency’s mission, scientists and engineers are working to help establish stronger standards for disaster resilience, safety, and fire prevention in the construction and retrofitting of buildings to help Americans better withstand and recover from all disasters.
Our Building Science Branch is dedicated to helping reduce risk to life and property by providing state of the art hazard mitigation solutions for the built environment. Working in collaboration with many professionals from FEMA, its stakeholders and its public and private partners, these efforts are helping communities and citizens across the nation prepare for, withstand, and recover from disasters such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes.
To promote improved building safety standards, we cooperate closely with the International Code Council, the nation’s pre-imminent organization dedicated to protecting the health, safety, and welfare of people by creating better buildings and safer communities.
Building Safety Resources
FEMA recommends that all Americans learn about simple steps they can take today to better prepare their home or business property for a disaster. Even in the recent outbreaks of tornadoes and storms, we saw how taking steps, such as building a safe room, can save lives. With this focus on personal preparedness in mind, here are a few resources on making your home or business safer today:
- “Taking Shelter From the Storm: Building a Safe Room For Your Home or Small Business”
- Protect Your Property or Business from Disaster
- Ready Business: Protecting your Businesses’ Physical Assets
For more on National Building Safety Month, visit the International Code Council Foundation.