TAMPA, FL - The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) announces a new program to help small and mid-sized businesses reduce their risk of damage from natural disasters.
FORTIFIED for Safer Business, is a code-plus construction program that greatly increases a new commercial building's durability and resilience to natural hazards common in the area where it's being built, as well as to protect against interior fire and water damage, theft, and vandalism. FORTIFIED for Safer Business follows on the success of IBHS' two programs for improving the resilience of homes - FORTIFIED for Safer Living for code-plus new home construction, and FORTIFIED for Existing Homes for strengthening homes through retrofitting.
"Every year, hurricanes, tornados, hail storms, floods, severe winter weather, and wildfires cause billions of dollars in damage to homes and commercial enterprises in all parts of the U.S.," said IBHS President & CEO Julie Rochman. "IBHS created FORTIFIED for Safer Business to help small and mid-sized businesses build new facilities that are able to better withstand the natural hazards and man-made risks that can force them to close their doors," Rochman added.
"Small and mid-size businesses are the backbone of many neighborhoods, and residents depend on them to provide basic necessities like groceries, supplies and services, a role that can become even more critical after disaster strikes a community," said Chuck Miccolis, IBHS commercial lines engineer. "The program recognizes that many such businesses cannot afford the same customized loss prevention and engineering services common in the construction of large manufacturing, health care, hospitality, and other operations.
"FORTIFIED for Safer Business engineering standards bring together a number of best practices in a format that can be utilized from the design stage to the construction phase of a commercial project," Miccolis said.