Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What is a FORTIFIED Home?

FORTIFIED MEANS RESILIENCE
Over the last decade storms like Ike, Irene, Katrina and Sandy have amplified the need to make homes and businesses more resilient. In 2010,the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety’s FORTIFIED Home™ Program made best practice engineering and building standards - developed using more than 20 years of storm damage investigations - available to anyone seeking to strengthen existing single-family, detached homes.

FORTIFIED can be affordable at every price point and uses a uniquesystems-based method for creating stronger, safer homes. The program employs an incremental approach toward making existing homes more resistant to damage from hurricanes, tropical storms, hailstorms, high windsand wind-driven rain associated with thunderstorms. With three levels ofFORTIFIED Home™ designation available – Bronze, Silver and Gold builders can work with homeowners to choose a desired level of protection thatbest suits their budgets and resilience goals.


STEP 1.
APPLY
Complete a free online application at http://disastersafety.org/disastersafety/fortified-home-evaluation-application. It takes less than 5 minutes.

STEP 2.
SCHEDULE A FORTIFIED EVALUATION
Once an application is received and processed, the applicant will be directed to a list of IBHS Certified FORTIFIED Evaluators working in the area. The applicant then schedules a fee-based evaluation of the home. The applicant has the option to interview any evaluator listed, discuss their fees and negotiate accordingly. IBHS certifies only those evaluators who have completed a comprehensive training program, passed an exam, and who meet IBHS’ rigorous professional requirements.

STEP 3.
HAVE FORTIFIED EVALUATION PERFORMED
At the scheduled time, the chosen evaluator will visit the home and conduct a FORTIFIED Evaluation. The evaluator’s role is to collect information about the home and complete a comprehensive checklist provided by IBHS. At the conclusion of the evaluation, the information is transmitted to IBHS for analysis and processing.

STEP 4.
RECEIVE AND REVIEW CUSTOMIZED REPORT
After the evaluation, the applicant will receive access to a comprehensive, customized Current Condition Report via a personal, secure online portal. This report includes analysis of the home’s condition, an explanation of deficiencies, if any, and an overview of the improvements needed to achieve each of the three FORTIFIED designations. If there are no retrofits required, a designation certificate will be issued at this time.

STEP 5.
TAKE ACTION
If retrofits are needed, the Current Condition Report will be a roadmap for making the home more disaster resistant. The applicant’s FORTIFIED Action Plan begins with deciding what level of protection they want to achieve, identifying the needed retrofits and having the work performed. Upon completion, the FORTIFIED upgrades must be verified for compliance by a certified FORTIFIED evaluator. The evaluator will submit compliance documents to FORTIFIED Home
for review and processing.\

STEP 6.
GET DESIGNATED
Once the FORTIFIED evaluator verifies the improvements have been made, a FORTIFIED Designation is awarded. The FORTIFIED Designation Certificate is proof of compliance and can be submitted to the homeowner’s property insurance provider to receive applicable discounts or credits where available. Check with your insurance carrier for more details about FORTIFIED incentives. Once awarded, a FORTIFIED Home Designation lasts for five years. At the end of that term, a re-designation audit is required and will focus on the condition of the roof covering. If major structural changes have been completed or if systems covered by FORTIFIED requirements have been damaged or upgraded since the original designation was awarded, a more extensive audit may be required.





FORTIFIED HomeTM is a program of the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety
Find additional information at DisasterSafety.org/fortified/home OR visit facebook.com/buildfortfied

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