Tougher Building Codes Are Coming Our Way

North Florida residents can expect major changes as a result of the 2005 hurricane season.

Northwest Florida is not covered by tough building codes enacted after Hurricane Andrew, but state lawmakers are now saying that exemption should be abolished and new homes in this area should have to meet the same safety standards that are found in the rest of the state.

Department of Community Affairs Secretary Thaddeus Cohen says they’re also experimenting to find that best techniques to reinforce and retrofit homes that were damaged during the storms.

“We have a pilot program at the Department of Community Affairs that we’ll be doing in Pensacola, being able to help some folks there to be able to take some of the strategies on how you can support gable winds, how you can do better strapping trusses that are already in place, how we can handle window protections either through plywood or other methodology such as shutters, aluminum shutters that are to the protocol of Miami Dade for missile impact.”

Cohen says the state cannot help with the cost of home rebuilding, but they can give property owners plenty of help figuring out the best way to harden their homes for the next hurricane season.