Building Safety Month Week 2 Focuses on Disaster Safety and Safe Rooms
WASHINGTON, May 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Week two of the International Code Council Foundation® (ICCF) Building Safety Month–Disaster Safety & Mitigation–May 14-20 provides tips and information for the public about high-wind events such as tornadoes. Considering the tragic loss of life and property damage experienced in just the last two years from high-wind events, Building Safety Month is placing special emphasis on safe rooms this year.
“The International Code Council/National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA) Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters is a tool to help communities protect their residents from disasters and consolidates previous references published by NSSA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Red Cross,” ICC CEO Rick Weiland said.
It is a myth that nothing can be done to protect you and your family from tornadoes. In fact, a properly built, high-wind, safe room can protect from the most intense tornadoes, hurricanes and similar natural disasters.
The truth about safe rooms:
- Safe rooms can be designed to withstand winds up to 250 miles per hour, offering safe refuge for families in the path of high-wind events.
- A closet, bathroom, laundry area or storage room can be enhanced to serve as a safe room.
- Safe rooms designed to meet standards set forth by the National Storm Shelter Association, the International Code Council and FEMA will stand up to the most intense tornadoes and hurricanes.
Building Safety Month Disaster Safety & Awareness co-sponsor, the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), urges homeowners to “Give an Ordinary Room an Extraordinary Purpose” by building or retrofitting interior spaces in their homes to safe-room standards. FLASH and FEMA are partnering with the ICC Foundation to provide resources, tips and videos available online at www.buildingsafetymonth.org.
Published jointly by the ICC and the NSSA, ICC 500: 2008 Standard for the Design and Construction of Storm Shelters provides minimum design and construction requirements for storm shelters. It is approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as an American National Standard and offers guidelines for community shelters and residential safe rooms.
A second standard, the ICC 600: 2008 Standard for Residential Construction in High-Wind Regions, specifies prescriptive methods to provide wind-resistant designs and construction details for residential buildings of masonry, concrete, wood-framed or cold-formed steel framed construction sited in high-wind regions. The standard provides requirements and other details of construction for buildings sited in wind climates of 100 to 150 mph in 10 mph increments.
Additionally, FEMA P-320, Taking Shelter From the Storm, Building a Safe Room For Your Home or Small Business, helps homeowners and small business owners assess their risk and determine the best type of safe room to meet their needs.
Tips to follow from www.buildingsafetymonth.org when preparing your family for disaster:
- Develop a family disaster plan that includes a list of food and water supplies needed for each member of your family and supplies for your pets. Make copies of important documents like insurance policies, the deed to your home, and other personal papers, important phone numbers and a home inventory. Create a checklist of important things to do before, during and after a disaster.
- Review your evacuation route and emergency shelter locations with your family. Options for evacuation would include staying with friends and relatives, seeking commercial lodging, or staying in a mass care facility operated by disaster relief groups in conjunction with local authorities.
- Taking shelter is critical in times of disaster. Sheltering in place is appropriate when conditions require that you seek protection in your home, place of employment, or other location where you are when disaster strikes.
Review your plan regularly. If you make changes that affect the information in your disaster plan, update it immediately.
Building Safety Month is marked each year by more than 50,000 International Code Council members through official ceremonies, community outreach events, demonstration projects and school-based programs. On May 1, President Barack Obama issued the second Presidential Proclamation declaring May as Building Safety Month.
Learn more about Building Safety Month and download safety information, program suggestions and more at www.buildingsafetymonth.org.
About the International Code Council Foundation
The International Code Council Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote public awareness of ideas’ methods and technologies that encourage the construction of safe, durable and sustainable buildings and homes thus reducing the devastating effects of building damages due to natural disasters and other tragedies.
SOURCE International Code Council Foundation