Alabama leads nation in building the strongest hurricane-resilient homes
Kelly Bowers and husband, Robert, had no idea what building to Fortified standards meant when they were looking to construct a new home in 2012. As they investigated building options, the couple learned about insurance discounts offered only in Alabama which encourage people to build sturdier structures in the state’s coastal region.
The insurance incentives are one of the reasons why the Bowers learned that Alabama has emerged as the national trendsetter, thanks to Mobile and Baldwin counties, in building homes that adhere to the strictest building standards in the U.S.
Of the country’s 10,700 Fortified-designated homes, 9,227 of them are in the two coastal Alabama counties. That easily makes the state No. 1, with 87 percent of the U.S. share in homes and roofs better built to withstand hurricane-forced winds.
“We’re on track to being able to recover quicker from storms,” said Julie Shiyou-Woodard, president and CEO with Mobile-based Smart Home America, a non-profit organization formed 10 years ago to administer and grow the Fortified building program.
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