This is the National Institute of Building Sciences Multihazard
Mitigation Council’s (MMC) second webinar in a new
webinar series on mitigation that will address social considerations,
governance (including building codes and zoning ordinances), the built
environment, hazard and risk assessment and economics.
The second webinar in the series, titled "Better Building
Codes: Demanding Minimum Construction Practices—It’s the Least We Can Do!” will be delivered by Leslie
Chapman-Henderson, President and CEO of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes
(FLASH). The nonprofit Federal Alliance
for Safe Homes furthers its mission to strengthen homes and safeguard families
from disasters as a consumer advocate for better building codes, construction
practices and products, as well as educating consumers on how they can prepare
themselves for any natural or man-made disaster.
Chapman-Henderson will discuss the issue of policy
leadership for strong building codes, making building codes and resilience a
public value, and the importance of transparency of these issues to the public,
many of whom spend much of their life within residential dwellings. Building
codes are a first step to resilience against natural disasters, a minimum
standard for construction and alone are not sufficient for optimal protection
against disasters. However, they are a necessary first step. This may be a
simple concept for practitioners in the scientific and design communities, but
not one widely understood by the public. The disaster safety movement must
create a public value for resilience at every step—starting with strong
building codes as the foundation for additional disaster-resilient
In this context, the webinar will explore two examples of
challenges and opportunities to create a demand for minimum construction
standards. The first example focuses on a long struggle towards adoption of
modern seismic provisions within Memphis, Tennessee’s building codes. The
second addresses newly adopted residential building codes in Moore, Oklahoma,
aimed to prevent destruction from tornadoes, like those that devastated Moore
in May 2013. Both of these case studies highlight approaches to destroy the
dangerous myths that permeate the beliefs of homeowners and residents across
the country: in Memphis, TN that earthquakes do not and will not happen on the
East Coast and in Moore, OK that building practices cannot prevent the
destruction of tornadoes.
Leadership, education and collaboration are the essential
elements to making Americans safer in their homes, both every day and in the
face of extreme weather. Creating a public value for strong building codes is
the base level of the pyramid to lead to a culture of disaster-resilient
construction, and therefore disaster prevention.
As FLASH President and CEO, Leslie Chapman-Henderson is
widely recognized for growing a small committee of volunteers in 1998 into the
country’s leading consumer advocacy organization for disaster safety. Leslie has delivered keynote addresses for
diverse audiences including Fortune 500 companies, academic institutions, national
associations, major conventions like South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive and
more. She has also testified before the United Nations, United States Congress
and state legislatures as a subject matter expert on mitigation. She has
appeared in hundreds of media interviews including television and radio
appearances on AccuWeather, CNN, FOX News, Good Morning America, MSNBC, The
Weather Channel, nationally-syndicated programs such as This New House, Home
Again with Bob Vila and a one-hour, PBS special entitled, Blueprint for Safety
– Disaster-Resistant Homes.
Her experience and expertise spans creative, technical and
advocacy initiatives, from delivery of the award-winning, 4-D "edu-tainment”
experience, StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes® at INNOVENTIONS at Epcot® at the Walt Disney World® Resort to development of Blueprint for
Safety®, a comprehensive education program on disaster resilience for families,
graduate students, professionals, and volunteers.
Register for access instructions.