Should Changes Be Made to the Current Codes as a Result of Hurricane Sandy?

Nicole Harris
March 26, 2013
THE TALK... | Codes & Standards

In response to Julie Ruth's column, "Preparing for 'the Big One'" in the January/February issue of Window & Door, Mory Katz, VP of the Commercial Property Division at Verisk Insurance Solutions, addresses the threat posed by severe storms. He writes:

"I read with interest Julie Ruth’s column. ...  After a storm, the power grid, building construction and other related conditions are at the forefront of everyone’s mind. But the increased number and severity of 'wind events' nationally should prompt a reexamination in every community.

Verisk Analytics conducted an analysis using our severe-storm computer models and compared them to our database of millions of commercial buildings we survey to examine factors that may improve — or worsen—a building’s wind resistance or damageability. Our analysis shows roughly 38 percent of the total U.S. insured property value is in coastal counties. In New York, 62 percent of insured value is along the coast. In Florida, that number skyrockets to almost 80 percent—but it is by no means exclusively a coastal phenomenon. Since 1950, our data indicates 18 of the 20 costliest catastrophe events in the U.S. (not adjusted for inflation) involved wind. The remaining two that did not involve a wind peril were the Northridge earthquake and the attacks of 9/11. Compounding the problem is the overall storm trend. Of those 18 wind events, 15 occurred since 2000.

Communities and individuals are always concerned about fire, which continues to be the most common cause of property loss. However, it is now evident that property owners, the construction industry, municipalities responsible for local building codes, and others all need to become more proactive in addressing the threat of wind and storm events."

In Ruth's column, she asks the question, "Should changes be made to the current codes as a result of Hurricane Sandy?” And so, I'm posing the same question to you. Please weigh in by participating in the survey below, and email me or post a comment to share your thoughts. 

Survey Results as of 04/02/2013 :

Should Changes Be Made to the Current Codes Following Hurricane Sandy?

No, the current codes are adequate










I'm not sure






The author is publisher of Window & Door and Glass Magazine and vice president of publications for the National Glass Association. Write her at

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