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2019BSMweek1

Disasters in a local community can range from natural, weather-related event to a man-made event. Planning in advance for devastating events like hurricanes and tornadoes helps individuals and communities increase the health and safety of their population during a disaster, protects the local tax base, ensures continuity of essential services, and supports a faster recovery in the aftermath of a disaster. Building to the latest building codes, preparing your family, and protecting your home are all things you can do to help your community.

BUILD STRONG, BUILD SMART. One of the best ways to prepare for a disaster is to build to the most up-to-date, modern building codes. It important that codes are properly applied, which is done in Raleigh by our plan review and inspections staff in the Development Services Department. The development and widespread adoption of building code creates consistency in the design world, and addresses things like structural integrity, lighting, ventialtion, construction materials, safe exits, and fire protection. These codes, while they may differ slightly from region to region, share the same principles throughout, and builders should maintain or exceed these standards.

PREPARATION. The planning and cumulative effort of city planners, developers and businesses helps to facilitate the rapid response efforts that communities need in order to manage a disaster. First responders need secure places to operate. Citizens who are trapped or lose their home need safe places to retreat. Basics such as food and water need to be distributed during mass evacuations, long term power outages, flooding, and road closures. Sanitation services must be maintained even when the power goes out. Having a plan for these types of situations is critical to the speed of community recovery (resiliency) and can help minimize loss to life and property. Being prepared is a great way to serve your community!

Here are some places you can read more on local disaster preparedness for you and your family:

Keeping codes up to date and continuing to make code officials, contractors and designers aware of changes helps build a team with common goals, and keeps our community prepared for disaster of any kind.

This blog was written by Jeremiah Weckesser, Senior Mechanical Inspector III. 

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