Just in time for hurricane season — which blows in June 1 — the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety ranks New Jersey fourth of 18 states along the Atlantic seaboard and Gulf Coast for the strength of residential building codes.
The 2018 Rating the States report evaluated building code adoption and enforcement, building official training and certification and licensing requirements for construction trades. New Jersey’s score improved one point, from 89 in the 2015 report, and it was one of only four states to achieve a score of 90 or higher in the 2018 report.
Rating the States New Jersey highlights include its adoption of 2015 International Residential Codes and FEMA Advisory Base Flood elevation maps. With the latter, instituted following storm surge devastation from 2012’s Superstorm Sandy, attributed to having “enhanced property protection” across the state.
At 10 points away from the maximum 100 available, the report recommends New Jersey would benefit from continuing education for residential code building officials.
According to IBHS General Counsel and Senior Vice President of public policy Debra Ballen, 25 million people were impacted by “catastrophic hurricanes,” like last fall’s Hurricane Maria, in 2017.
“Bad weather is not new and will not stop. … We must build stronger, to code standards proven to reduce risk, and stop allowing today’s weather events to become painful, expensive disasters for homeowners, communities, states and the entire nation.”