In a quiet catastrophe season, the insurance industry should stress to policyholders the importance of preparing their homes for natural disasters and becoming both physically and financially ready for whatever Mother Nature has in store. Additionally, insurers can use these mild years to build up capital reserves so they can afford to pay claims when events do occur. The quiet years also allow policymakers time to develop longer-term solutions that can ultimately strengthen Homeowner insurance markets.

The enactment and enforcement of tough standards for building codes, property development and other loss prevention and mitigation requirements are key components to long-term natural catastrophe preparation. As an example, following devastating tornadoes in 2013 that ravaged central Oklahoma, the City of Moore took action this March and became the first in the nation to adopt building codes that are specifically designed to address the impact of tornadoes. Moore’s new residential building codes include requiring roof sheathing, hurricane clips or framing anchors, continuous plywood bracing and wind-resistant garage doors. The homes will be built to withstand winds up to 135 miles per hour rather than the accepted standard building requirements of 90 miles per hour.

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