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HALL OF FAME: United Nations
International Strategy for Disaster Reduction

The United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN-ISDR) is the leading international body aiming to address disaster risk reduction and building resilience capacity in nations and communities.

(www.unisdr.org)

In March 2015 it achieved a major milestone by getting 187 nations to sign the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction: 2015-2030. This major international agreement is on a level of importance comparable to the 1992 UN Framework for Climate Change. Although much broader in hazards scope that just climate-related, the Sendai Framework is referenced in the COP21 Paris Agreement, which contained the strongest ever call for climate adaptation.

UN-ISDR’s work has been building-up for over 20 years with two prior agreements, the Yokohama Strategy (1994) and the Hyogo Framework for Action (2005). Strategic focus gradually broadened from humanitarian aid, to disaster response, to disaster risk management and mitigation. In the process UNISDR has engaged a wide range of stakeholders, including governments, businesses and civil society, to pursue its purpose. Its biannual Global Platform for Disaster Risk Management conferences provide a point of reference for setting specific targets and assessing progress. This combines with the biannual Global Assessment Report in documenting issues, challenges and results.

The Sendai Framework contains seven targets, one of which is reducing disaster economic losses. It sets four priorities for action, three of which are understanding hazard risk, private and private investment in greater resilience and ‘building back better’ post-disaster. It makes over 30 references to the private sector, more than any prior agreement. The built environment is addressed extensively, including ‘building better from the start’, using universal design principles, building materials standardization, revising existing standards and developing, implementing and enforcing more disaster-resilient building codes.

To affect the economic drivers of investment, it calls on financial institutions, regulators and accounting bodies to develop standards and integrate disaster risk management into their business and financial models. It asks international and regional developmental banks to consider disaster resilience in their lending practices. Finally it calls on media to take an active role in raising public awareness, disseminate accurate risk information and stimulate a culture of prevention. Unfortunately, compared to other global issues, the Sendai Framework still remains below the radar screen. Media have yet to widely publicize its importance and calls-to-action, and thus the general public remains largely uninformed.

We salute UN-ISDR for boldly raising the banner and seeding a global resilience movement that in the coming decades will change the way governments, businesses and societies invest in and value resilience.

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HALL OF FAME: City of Moore, Oklahoma

In 2014 the citizens of Moore, Oklahoma decided to take their non-resilient situation into their own hands.

This city of 60 thousand just south of Oklahoma City had suffered many tornados. A recent 2003 tornado caused 24 deaths and more than $3 billion in losses. Public outcry finally drove action.

Defying the low standards sets by the International Code Council (ICC), the America Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and state code officials, Moore became the first US jurisdiction to unilaterally create a tornado code for its buildings, including homes. It raised the wind design standard by 50% from 90 to 135 mph. The wind standard for building homes across Tornado Alley, a string of states in the central US afflicted by tornados has for decades been stuck at 90 mph.

Besides setting course for a more resilient future, Moore broke the myth propagated by the system’s ‘experts’ in economically justifying their stagnant standards. Working with sensitized local builders they estimated additional construction costs at $1/sf. An analysis performed using data for the entire state of Oklahoma concluded the benefit-cost was more than 3:1. The net benefit of building to the higher wind standard for the entire state was estimated at $25 billion (in 2014 dollars), accruing to private and public stakeholders.

We salute the citizens, city officials and businesses of Moore, Oklahoma for setting a new standard for wind resilience to tornados.

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Hall of Shame

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HALL OF FAME: Smart Home America

Smart Home America (SHA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit grassroots resilience education, advocacy and action organization based in Mobile, Alabama.

(www.smarthomeamerica.org)

Without government or NGO support, it pioneered and now leads the nation in promoting, developing and certifying code-plus homes to Fortified standards.

Fortified is a wind-resilient construction and rating standard recently developed by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS). Over the past 3 years, SHA has certified over a 1000 homes in the vulnerable Alabama coastline. SHA was able to secure incentives from local insurance companies to incentivize its program. It is developing a network of qualified construction resources and helps connect consumers with these.

Though still small and in need of support, it aims to grow its residential base and expand into commercial buildings. It is also looking to transfer knowledge, experience and transplant its successful model to other vulnerable areas, such as Texas and South Carolina.

We salute SHA for making homes stronger and safer in the Gulf Coast, and becoming a role model for other areas.

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HALL OF SHAME: Memphis/Shelby County, Tennessee Board of Commissioners

In 2013 the Memphis/Shelby County, TN Board of Commissioners updated their building codes to the International Code Council’s (ICC) 2012 International Residential Code (IRC), but failed to approve the seismic provisions that has been strongly recommended.

The New Madrid Fault is the most significant earthquake hazard east of the Rocky Mountains. It extends for 150 miles from southern Illinois to eastern Tennessee. Memphis, with a metropolitan area population of 1.3 million, sits squarely in its danger zone. Five earthquakes with an 8.0 magnitude occurred during four months between 1811 and 1812. In 1976 and 1990 earthquakes of 5.0 and 4.8 struck. Scientists predict a 40% chance of a 6.0 or greater earthquake in the next 50 years; potentially a 10% chance of an 8.0 event.

Unfortunately Memphis has done little about it, other than prepare to respond and alert people to defend themselves when it strikes. There has been a tug-of-war on one side between scientists, insurers and disaster groups, versus homebuilders, developers and special interests on the other. The latter have opposed code improvements even though Tennessee passed a law requiring stronger seismic standards. In 2012 the state received $10 million in federal funds for disaster resilience and response, with an understanding it would improve codes.
ICC supplied model residential and commercial codes with seismic provisions. However local officials have repeatedly delayed implementation. Reasons argued by opponents include cost, ‘affordability’ and even the denial of a serious earthquake risk. The cost of stronger codes was estimated at $2,500-$3,000 per home, or 1-2 $/sf.
In 2012 opposing interests even tried to repeal the state law. When in 2013 the Commission passed the 2012 IRC, it did so with a loophole (labeled alternative compliance scheme) for the seismic provisions: ‘A Joint Ordinance amending the 2012 Memphis and Shelby County Joint Residential Code by providing an alternative compliance method for construction of detached one and two family dwellings when wood framing is used to meet structural seismic requirements and setting a new effective date for all of the structural provisions of that code.’

The members of Memphis/Shelby County’s Board of Commissioners should reflect on their irresponsible and neglectful actions. We will remind them of their accountability when one-day seismic disaster strikes.

Additional Hall Items

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HALL OF FAME: City of Moore, Oklahoma

In 2014 the citizens of Moore, Oklahoma decided to take their non-resilient situation into their own hands.

This city of 60 thousand just south of Oklahoma City had suffered many tornados. A recent 2003 tornado caused 24 deaths and more than $3 billion in losses. Public outcry finally drove action.

Defying the low standards sets by the International Code Council (ICC), the America Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and state code officials, Moore became the first US jurisdiction to unilaterally create a tornado code for its buildings, including homes. It raised the wind design standard by 50% from 90 to 135 mph. The wind standard for building homes across Tornado Alley, a string of states in the central US afflicted by tornados has for decades been stuck at 90 mph.

Besides setting course for a more resilient future, Moore broke the myth propagated by the system’s ‘experts’ in economically justifying their stagnant standards. Working with sensitized local builders they estimated additional construction costs at $1/sf. An analysis performed using data for the entire state of Oklahoma concluded the benefit-cost was more than 3:1. The net benefit of building to the higher wind standard for the entire state was estimated at $25 billion (in 2014 dollars), accruing to private and public stakeholders.

We salute the citizens, city officials and businesses of Moore, Oklahoma for setting a new standard for wind resilience to tornados.

Additional Hall Items

Hall of Fame

Hall of Shame

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HALL OF FAME: Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS)

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is a non-profit, research and communications organization supported by the insurance industry and focused on building resilience.

(www.disastersafety.org)

IBHS’s one-of-a-kind (in the world) ‘crash test’ facility in South Carolina can test full-scale two story homes/buildings against wind, rain, hail and brushfire hazards. 

The facility has demonstrated the limitations of existing building codes by proving they are set below level hazards the public is facing. IBHS has developed above code solutions under their Fortified rating system, trained inspectors and supported grass-roots promotion. Now they plan to ramp-up communications. Fortified may begin as an option, but it needs to become a standard part of codes.

We salute IBHS and hope they replicate what the insurance industry did for car safety in the 1960’s though ’90’s. Taking it to the public by regularly bringing images of destruction into our living rooms.

Additional Hall Items

Hall of Fame

Hall of Shame

Hall of Shame

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HALL OF SHAME: State of Oklahoma Building Codes Commission

In 2015 the Oklahoma Building Codes Commission, while updating their building codes had an opportunity to set a new tornado wind standard for the entire state. They failed.

Just a year earlier the city of Moore, Oklahoma had shown the way, becoming the first US jurisdiction to create a tornado code for its buildings, including homes. It raised the wind design standard by 50% from 90 to 135 mph. In doing so, Moore broke the myth propagated by the system’s ‘experts’ that higher standards cannot be economically justified.

The wind standard for Oklahoma, like the rest of Tornado Alley, has been for decades been stuck at 90 mph. Organizations like the International Code Council (ICC) and the America Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) have stubbornly ignored across the board tornado resilience and refused to raise model code standards.
Oklahoma ranks #3 (worse) on FEMA’s list of states, in terms of frequency of natural disaster declarations, after Texas and California. The entire state is vulnerable to tornados and ranks #4 nationally in frequency. Unfortunately instead of following Moore’s example to make 135mph the new standard across the state, the Commission only included it as an option, leaving it to be individually decided by each of Oklahoma’s approximately 600 jurisdictions (a process that could take decades).

Moore’s economic analysis was actually performed using data for the entire state of Oklahoma, concluding hat the benefit-cost was more than 3:1. The net benefit of building to the higher wind standard for the entire state was estimated at $25 billion (in 2014 dollars), accruing to private and public stakeholders.

The members of Oklahoma’s Building Codes Commission should reflect on their irresponsible and neglectful lack of action. We will certainly remind them every time a tornado disaster hits the state.

Additional Hall Items

Hall of Fame

,

HALL OF FAME: City of Moore, Oklahoma

In 2014 the citizens of Moore, Oklahoma decided to take their non-resilient situation into their own hands.

This city of 60 thousand just south of Oklahoma City had suffered many tornados. A recent 2003 tornado caused 24 deaths and more than $3 billion in losses. Public outcry finally drove action.

Defying the low standards sets by the International Code Council (ICC), the America Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and state code officials, Moore became the first US jurisdiction to unilaterally create a tornado code for its buildings, including homes. It raised the wind design standard by 50% from 90 to 135 mph. The wind standard for building homes across Tornado Alley, a string of states in the central US afflicted by tornados has for decades been stuck at 90 mph.

Besides setting course for a more resilient future, Moore broke the myth propagated by the system’s ‘experts’ in economically justifying their stagnant standards. Working with sensitized local builders they estimated additional construction costs at $1/sf. An analysis performed using data for the entire state of Oklahoma concluded the benefit-cost was more than 3:1. The net benefit of building to the higher wind standard for the entire state was estimated at $25 billion (in 2014 dollars), accruing to private and public stakeholders.

We salute the citizens, city officials and businesses of Moore, Oklahoma for setting a new standard for wind resilience to tornados.

Additional Hall Items

Hall of Fame

Hall of Shame

,

HALL OF FAME: Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS)

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is a non-profit, research and communications organization supported by the insurance industry and focused on building resilience.

(www.disastersafety.org)

IBHS’s one-of-a-kind (in the world) ‘crash test’ facility in South Carolina can test full-scale two story homes/buildings against wind, rain, hail and brushfire hazards. 

The facility has demonstrated the limitations of existing building codes by proving they are set below level hazards the public is facing. IBHS has developed above code solutions under their Fortified rating system, trained inspectors and supported grass-roots promotion. Now they plan to ramp-up communications. Fortified may begin as an option, but it needs to become a standard part of codes.

We salute IBHS and hope they replicate what the insurance industry did for car safety in the 1960’s though ’90’s. Taking it to the public by regularly bringing images of destruction into our living rooms.

Additional Hall Items

Hall of Fame

Hall of Shame

Hall of Shame

,

HALL OF SHAME: State of Oklahoma Building Codes Commission

In 2015 the Oklahoma Building Codes Commission, while updating their building codes had an opportunity to set a new tornado wind standard for the entire state. They failed.

Just a year earlier the city of Moore, Oklahoma had shown the way, becoming the first US jurisdiction to create a tornado code for its buildings, including homes. It raised the wind design standard by 50% from 90 to 135 mph. In doing so, Moore broke the myth propagated by the system’s ‘experts’ that higher standards cannot be economically justified.

The wind standard for Oklahoma, like the rest of Tornado Alley, has been for decades been stuck at 90 mph. Organizations like the International Code Council (ICC) and the America Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) have stubbornly ignored across the board tornado resilience and refused to raise model code standards.
Oklahoma ranks #3 (worse) on FEMA’s list of states, in terms of frequency of natural disaster declarations, after Texas and California. The entire state is vulnerable to tornados and ranks #4 nationally in frequency. Unfortunately instead of following Moore’s example to make 135mph the new standard across the state, the Commission only included it as an option, leaving it to be individually decided by each of Oklahoma’s approximately 600 jurisdictions (a process that could take decades).

Moore’s economic analysis was actually performed using data for the entire state of Oklahoma, concluding hat the benefit-cost was more than 3:1. The net benefit of building to the higher wind standard for the entire state was estimated at $25 billion (in 2014 dollars), accruing to private and public stakeholders.

The members of Oklahoma’s Building Codes Commission should reflect on their irresponsible and neglectful lack of action. We will certainly remind them every time a tornado disaster hits the state.

Additional Hall Items

Hall of Fame

,

HALL OF FAME: Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS)

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is a non-profit, research and communications organization supported by the insurance industry and focused on building resilience.

(www.disastersafety.org)

IBHS’s one-of-a-kind (in the world) ‘crash test’ facility in South Carolina can test full-scale two story homes/buildings against wind, rain, hail and brushfire hazards. 

The facility has demonstrated the limitations of existing building codes by proving they are set below level hazards the public is facing. IBHS has developed above code solutions under their Fortified rating system, trained inspectors and supported grass-roots promotion. Now they plan to ramp-up communications. Fortified may begin as an option, but it needs to become a standard part of codes.

We salute IBHS and hope they replicate what the insurance industry did for car safety in the 1960’s though ’90’s. Taking it to the public by regularly bringing images of destruction into our living rooms.

Additional Hall Items

Hall of Fame

Hall of Shame

,

HALL OF FAME: City of Moore, Oklahoma

In 2014 the citizens of Moore, Oklahoma decided to take their non-resilient situation into their own hands.

This city of 60 thousand just south of Oklahoma City had suffered many tornados. A recent 2003 tornado caused 24 deaths and more than $3 billion in losses. Public outcry finally drove action.

Defying the low standards sets by the International Code Council (ICC), the America Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and state code officials, Moore became the first US jurisdiction to unilaterally create a tornado code for its buildings, including homes. It raised the wind design standard by 50% from 90 to 135 mph. The wind standard for building homes across Tornado Alley, a string of states in the central US afflicted by tornados has for decades been stuck at 90 mph.

Besides setting course for a more resilient future, Moore broke the myth propagated by the system’s ‘experts’ in economically justifying their stagnant standards. Working with sensitized local builders they estimated additional construction costs at $1/sf. An analysis performed using data for the entire state of Oklahoma concluded the benefit-cost was more than 3:1. The net benefit of building to the higher wind standard for the entire state was estimated at $25 billion (in 2014 dollars), accruing to private and public stakeholders.

We salute the citizens, city officials and businesses of Moore, Oklahoma for setting a new standard for wind resilience to tornados.

Additional Hall Items

Hall of Fame

Hall of Shame

Hall of Shame

,

HALL OF FAME: Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS)

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is a non-profit, research and communications organization supported by the insurance industry and focused on building resilience.

(www.disastersafety.org)

IBHS’s one-of-a-kind (in the world) ‘crash test’ facility in South Carolina can test full-scale two story homes/buildings against wind, rain, hail and brushfire hazards. 

The facility has demonstrated the limitations of existing building codes by proving they are set below level hazards the public is facing. IBHS has developed above code solutions under their Fortified rating system, trained inspectors and supported grass-roots promotion. Now they plan to ramp-up communications. Fortified may begin as an option, but it needs to become a standard part of codes.

We salute IBHS and hope they replicate what the insurance industry did for car safety in the 1960’s though ’90’s. Taking it to the public by regularly bringing images of destruction into our living rooms.

Additional Hall Items

Hall of Fame

Hall of Shame

Hall of Shame

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