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Cravens Warren

Serving the risk management and commercial insurance needs of business. Cravens Warren, founded in 1946, has been serving the insurance needs of... read more

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  • 10011 West Gulf Bank
    Houston, TX 77040
  • Phone (713) 690-6000
    Fax (713) 690-6020
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5 Years After Katrina Gulf Coast Building Codes Still Inadequate

Sep 3, 2010

5 Years After Katrina Gulf Coast Building Codes Still Inadequate

Five years ago, Hurricane Katrina caused an estimated 1,300 tragic deaths as well as $41.1 billion in insured losses across six states. Louisiana and Mississippi suffered the brunt of Katrina's wrath followed by Alabama. As we commemorate this terrible event of five years ago, sadly, some residents in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi continue to struggle to recover from the costliest and one of the deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history.

No one wants a repeat performance of the devastation caused by Katrina. To that end, the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) calls upon Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi to adopt and rigorously enforce statewide building codes to protect their citizens.

Building codes and standards regulate the design, construction and maintenance of buildings. They help protect the health, safety and general welfare of a building's users, and establish the minimum acceptable standards necessary for protecting people and property. When natural disaster strikes, everyone benefits from the enforcement of sound building codes.

Louisiana, which experienced $25.3 billion in insured losses, has made the most progress by adopting a statewide code. However, the state has struggled financially to establish, staff and manage inspection departments. Neither Mississippi nor Alabama have statewide building codes.

In Mississippi, ($13.6 billion in Katrina-related property damages) only seven of its 82 counties are required to enforce the wind and flood requirements of the 2003 International Building Code (IBC) and 2003 International Residential Code (IRC). Alabama ($1.1 billion in Katrina-related property damage) has failed to adopt strong building codes, despite widespread damage from Katrina.