A report issued by the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recommends stricter adherence to existing building standards and model building codes, good building practices, and a greater recognition of the risks posed by storm surge in order to minimize the kind of structural damage experienced in the Gulf Coast states hit by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita last year.

The report documented the findings of experts from private-sector, academic, and federal entities who studied the performance of a variety of physical structures during the storms. It made 23 recommendations for specific improvements in the way that buildings, physical infrastructure (such as bridges and utilities), and residential structures are designed, constructed, maintained, and operated in hurricane-prone regions across the United States — not just in the states affected by Katrina and Rita. Some examples include:

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