building and rehab practices: overview » introduction

What technologies and other practices can help working families protect their lives and homes from disasters?

For existing homes or homes being built in areas vulnerable to weather-related hazards, sound building or rehabilitation practices and effective retrofits and upgrades can provide substantial resistance to the damaging effects of natural disasters. There are a range of building, rehabilitation and retrofitting options that can make homes more resilient to high winds, heavy rains and floods. This includes strengthening roofs and windows for wind resistance; raising homes that lie in the floodplain or other vulnerable areas; creating mechanisms that help divert or mitigate the damage of flood waters; making homes more water resistance to rain and floods.

It is not enough for builders and homeowners to know about these building practices and measures. State and local governments must educate, encourage and set requirements for such practices among builders and homeowners. State and local entities can do so through public outreach, support of educational initiatives, and development and enforcement of better building codes and zoning/planning requirements.

This policy section focuses on the construction techniques, technologies and measures that can be implemented at the household level to improve a home's resilience to natural disasters. The section also provides some insight into the role state and local governments can play in promoting and supporting such measures.

Click on the links below to learn more about "smarter and safer" building and rehabilitation practices:

Measures for mitigating flood damages

Measures for mitigating severe wind and rain damage

Providing education and training for making homes more resistant to disasters

Click here to view other resources on making homes more resistant to natural disasters.