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President of FLASH to Present Second Webinar in MMC’s Series

Friday, June 6, 2014  
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Series Addresses Pressing Aspects of Hazards Mitigation

The National Institute of Building Sciences Multihazard Mitigation Council (MMC) announces its second webinar in its new webinar series on mitigation. "Better Building Codes: Demanding Minimum Construction Practices—It’s the Least We Can Do!” presented by Leslie Chapman-Henderson, President and CEO of the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), will be held Thursday, July 24, 2014, from 1:00 to 2:00 pm EDT.

Through the series, the MMC serves to address social considerations, governance (including building codes and zoning ordinances), the built environment, hazard and risk assessment and economics. In the summer webinar, Chapman-Henderson will discuss the issue of policy leadership for adopting strong building codes; making building codes and resilience a public value; and the importance of transparency of these issues to the public (most of whom spend much of their lives within residential dwellings).

Building codes, which establish a minimum standard for construction—with a specific focus on the life safety of building occupants—are an important first step to increasing resilience against natural disasters. Though a simple concept for practitioners in the scientific and design communities, this focus on life safety is not widely understood by the general public, who expect homes built to code to have little or no damage following a disaster event. Chapman-Henderson will discuss the need for the disaster safety movement to create a public value for incorporating resilience at every step—starting with the adoption of strong building codes as the foundation for additional disaster-resilient construction.

Using two examples, Chapman-Henderson will explore the challenges and opportunities to create a demand for minimum construction standards. The first example will focus on the need to combat the myth that "earthquakes don’t happen on the East Coast” and the long struggle towards adoption of modern seismic provisions within Memphis, Tennessee’s building codes. The second example will address Moore, Oklahoma, which recently adopted new residential building codes to improve resilience against high winds after a tornado devastated that city in May 2013. Both of these case studies highlight approaches those communities used to debunk the dangerous beliefs shared by many homeowners and residents throughout the United States.

As FLASH President and CEO, 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. The nonprofit FLASH serves to strengthen homes and safeguard families from disasters as a consumer advocate for better building codes, construction practices and products, as well as educate consumers on how they can prepare themselves for any natural or man-made disaster. Chapman-Henderson’s 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 Walt Disney World® Resort’s Epcot® Center, to development of Blueprint for Safety®, a comprehensive education program on disaster resilience. She has testified before the United Nations, United States Congress and state legislatures as a subject matter expert on mitigation and has appeared in hundreds of media interviews, nationally-syndicated programs and a one-hour PBS special.

Don’t wait to sign up for the July 24 webinar. Only the first 125 participants will be admitted. Register now.

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