Tax dollars are going toward rebuilding homes without climate resiliency. Federal standards can help.
Laurie Schoeman is director for resilience and climate risk reduction in capital at Enterprise Community Partners, a national affordable-housing nonprofit. Ryan Colker is vice president of innovation at the International Code Council and executive director of the Alliance for National & Community Resilience.
In March, the Federal Emergency Management Agency rated each state’s building codes on how well they help newly built and retrofitted homes stand up to disaster. Thirty-nine states landed in the lowest category of resistance to hazards, meaning less than 25 percent of communities in each state have building codes that provide adequate resilience. Nineteen states scored zero out of 100, meaning no communities had codes that met these criteria, leaving residents vulnerable.
When disasters strike, they leave homes destroyed and lives shattered in their wake. Since 1980, major hurricanes, wildfires, and flooding have caused more than $2 trillion in damage. And every year, the federal government invests billions to help communities rebuild. Yet some of these investments are lost once again to subsequent disasters, fueled by clima... Read more