Year after year, Oklahoma has dealt with severe storms that have had devastating impact on our homes and community. Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity has adopted the FORTIFIED Home™ building practices of the Insurance Institute of Business and Home Safety (IBHS). These design and building standards give additional protection from hail storms, tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. The FORTIFIED Home™ program design is based on scientific building techniques. IBHS uses 20 years of storm damage data along with data from their laboratory testing facility at the IBHS Research Center. The FORTIFIED Home™ building practice provides a uniform set of building standards. These standards exceed our state building requirements. Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity is using the FORTIFIED Gold Standards which provides the greatest disaster protection. A key feature to the FORTIFIED Gold Building Standard is tying together all the building components which engineers call a "Continuous Load Path". This means the roof is tied to the walls; the walls are tied to the floors; and the house is tied to the foundation. The Continuous Load Path helps the home stand strong when high winds attempt to tear it apart.
A home's first line of defense from severe storms is the roof. The FORTIFIED roof is a comprehensive system that provides additional protection through a roofing system that features a wind driven rain management system that will prevent wind and water from penetrating the home. It also prevents super wind uplift damage by using ring shank nails which doubles the strength of a standard nailing system. The Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity FORTIFIED Home™ strengthens the garage door to help keep the garage intact during high winds.
The majority of damage from tornadoes is from EF-0 to EF-2 winds. IBHS research shows that property damage to homes from EF-0 and EF-1 tornadoes can be virtually eliminated if they are built or retrofitted using FORTIFIED standards. Property damage to homes from EF-2 tornadoes can be significantly reduced.
Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity works directly with fortified home evaluators to verify that the highest level of disaster protection is met for our families. A third party evaluator verifies all stages of the fortifying process of the home then provides a unique FORTIFIED ID that is valid for a 5 year period.
The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is a science-based research organization that promotes effective actions to strengthen homes, businesses and communities against natural disasters. IBHS designed the FORTIFIED Home™ program to help homeowners build safer, stronger new homes, and retrofit or repair existing homes to make them more resistant to high winds and hailstorms. FORTIFIED Home is a set of engineering and building standards designed by IBHS engineers to help strengthen new and existing homes through system-specific upgrades to minimum building code requirements that will reduce damage from severe weather events. IBHS engineers believe property damage to homes from EF-0 and EF-1 tornadoes can be virtually eliminated if they are built or retrofitted using FORTIFIED Home™ High Wind and Hail standards. Homes will be strengthened against low level tornadoes and high winds at the edges of strong tornadoes, straight-line wind events, severe thunderstorms and hailstorms.
The FORTIFIED Home™ program has three levels of designation—Bronze, Silver and Gold—that build upon each other, allowing homeowners to choose the desired level of protection that best suits their budgets and resilience goals. One of the key elements in the FORTIFIED programs is the requirement for independent, third-party verification to ensure the standards have been properly implemented. The federal government also has acknowledged that FORTIFIED is the national standard for resilient construction by referencing it in various property loss mitigation resources.
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