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Florida, Virginia have strongest codes among hurricane states
By Insure.com staff

Florida, Virginia and New Jersey have the strongest residential building code and enforcement systems of any of the 18 states most vulnerable to catastrophic hurricanes along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts, according to a new report by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety.

Each of those states scored above 90 points on a 100-point scale in the study. The lowest-scoring states were Alabama and Texas, each with 18 points; Delaware with 17 points; and Mississippi with four points. None of the low scorers has a mandatory statewide residential building code, and they lack many of the life-safety protections associated with residential building code requirements and professionalism within the residential building community, according to the report.

The first-of-its-kind analysis examined three main elements of a state's building code system -- statewide, mandatory code adoption and enforcement; code official training and certification; and licensing requirements for construction trades.

The institute says it wants to work with states included in the report, as well as jurisdictions across the country, to improve building code regulatory systems.

"Strong, well-enforced codes are essential to effectively strengthening homes, businesses and communities against hurricanes and many other hazards that threaten the United States," Julie Rochman, institute president and CEO, said in a press statement.

The states and their scores were:

  • Florida 95
  • Virginia 95
  • New Jersey 93
  • Massachusetts 87
  • South Carolina 84
  • Connecticut 81
  • North Carolina 81
  • Rhode Island 78
  • Louisiana 73
  • Maryland 73
  • Georgia 66
  • Maine 64
  • New York 60
  • New Hampshire 49
  • Alabama 18
  • Texas 18
  • Delaware 17
  • Mississippi 4

The institute is a research and communications organization supported by property insurance companies that works to reduce the social and economic effects of natural disasters and other risks.

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