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Dynamic New Videos Meet Demand for Tornado Safe Room Information

An April 25 article in The Oklahoman, indicates that more than 3,000 tornado shelter permits have been issued in the City of Moore since the March 25 tornado outbreak. Officials project that 7,800 Moore homes (40%) now have the essential safety feature. Recognizing the growing demand for tornado safe rooms and shelters across the United States, FLASH teamed up with Legacy Partners FEMA and PCA to create a new, comprehensive video library to help families choose smart when building or buying a tornado safe room or shelter.

Launched on April 29 in observance of America’s PrepareAthon!, the six-part video series, Which Tornado Safe Room is Right for You? features former CNN Bureau Chief John Zarrella and offers insights on common safe room choices, construction type, average costs and tested doors.

“Today’s marketplace offers an unprecedented range of high-performing, affordable options to save lives and preserve peace of mind for the millions of families in the path of severe weather,” said FLASH President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson. “These videos will help families understand their options for a properly built safe room that will deliver life safety when it counts.”

Earlier this year, FLASH released updated tornado watch data from the NOAA/NWS Storm Prediction Center indicating that nearly 90% of U.S. counties experienced tornado watches between 2004 and 2013, for an average of 27 hours per year. The frequency of tornado watches and deadly outbreaks like those in Moore, Joplin and Tuscaloosa are increasing public awareness and driving demand for tornado safety.

Welcome to the Next Level … Mitigation for Millennials

Partners, programmers, and a legion of volunteer testers are on duty and in the lab with the FLASH team to help deliver the latest innovative outreach product, Last House Standing, in time for hurricane season. Inspired by the “edu-tainment” formula used in the award-winning StormStruck: A Tale of Two Homes experience as well as findings in the FEMA report, Preparedness in America, the new smartphone and iPad app targets audiences through gamification. This innovative strategy will help disaster safety stakeholders reach young adults and engage future homeowners in resiliency through technology while advancing the mission of strengthening homes and safeguarding families from disasters of all kinds.

Email info@flash.org if you would like to participate in this exciting project to bring disaster safety and mitigation back to the future.

Raise the Resilience, Not the Roof

Legacy Partner BASF has joined the 2016 Great Hurricane Blowout with an awareness sweepstakes that will provide a Resilient Roof Upgrade to one lucky family. The upgrade includes application of closed-cell spray polyurethane foam insulation to seal the roof deck, creating a barrier from water penetration while strengthening the roof from high wind. The process enhances a roof’s disaster resilience and improves the energy efficiency with a prize package that includes:

  • Closed-cell Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation installed at a 1½” minimum for a sealed roof deck, up to 4,000 square feet of roof area.
  • A maximum of 1.5 sets of closed-cell spray polyurethane will be installed at a minimum thickness of 1.5” for secondary waterproofing performance only.
  • One (1) night meal credit and local lodging accommodations in a single room, double occupancy at a hotel determined by the Sponsor. Up to a maximum value of $800.

Sweepstakes entry will be available through November 30, 2015 at the Great Hurricane Blowout, so please share this with your network and enter to win today.

CFSI: Honoring Our Nation’s Firefighters and Emergency Services Personnel

On April 16, Leslie Chapman-Henderson and FLASH SVP Eric Vaughn attended the Congressional Fire Services Institute’s 27th Annual National Fire and Emergency Services Symposium and Dinner as guests of Diamond sponsor and FLASH Founding/Legacy Partner State Farm.

Vice President Joe Biden served as the keynote speaker for this signature event and paid tribute to the dedication and commitment of our nation’s firefighters and emergency services personnel.

“It’s an honor for State Farm to partner with CFSI in paying tribute to the dedication and commitment of our nation’s 1 million firefighters and emergency services personnel,” State Farm Vice President-Operations King Butler said. “We count on these men and women in fire and emergency services to help us in assisting our policyholders in recovering from the unexpected.”

The dinner program included a moving tribute to FEMA’s Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator Glenn Gaines who passed away on April 12, 2015.

PCS Catastrophe Conference – Resilience on the Rise

On April 27, Leslie Chapman-Henderson served as a featured speaker at the 2015 PCS Catastrophe Conference. Leslie’s “Resilience on the Rise: A Case for Collaboration” briefing detailed stories of disaster safety movement successes and demonstrated the need for continued collaboration and joint work across all industries and sectors.

Leslie cited the breakthrough “Dual-Objective-Based Tornado Design Philosophy” that challenges conventional building code thinking with an innovative approach to protecting homes as well as lives in tornado outbreaks. The challenge is described by FLASH Partner/UF Professor Dr. David Prevatt who served as principal investigator after the Tuscaloosa, Joplin and Moore outbreaks who states, “If we can put a man on the moon, we can keep a roof on a house.”

Leslie invited the insurance industry audience to embrace the new philosophy and join the small, but growing effort to enact new, stronger high-wind building codes, as was done in Moore, Oklahoma on March 17, 2014.

Guiding Communities to Resilience

FLASH Sr. Policy Analyst Audrey Rierson participated in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 5th Disaster Resilience Workshop in Houston at Texas Southern University on April 27.

The workshop featured the Community Resilience Planning Guide, a tool for communities to increase resilience against extreme weather and other hazards. Dr. Willie May, Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and Acting Director of NIST, described how the guide is customizable to each community and is the first-ever document of its kind. The public comment period is now open for the guide, and comments can be submitted on the NIST website. The final guide, along with comments, will be published in September.

Calling All Presenters - 2016 FLASH Annual Conference – The Next Generation of Resilience

FLASH is seeking dynamic presentation abstracts for the 2016 FLASH Annual Conference - The Next Generation of Resilience, January 27-29, 2016. The Conference brings together thought leaders, policymakers and subject matter experts from across the disaster safety and mitigation movement, and is recognized as one of the nation’s premier resilience conferences. The Conference program will feature:

  • The Next Generation of Codes/Standards/Policies
  • The Next Generation of Residential Construction
  • The Next Generation of Resilient Communities
  • The Next Generation of Outreach/Education
  • Creating a Disaster Resilient Generation

Visit flashannualconference.org to download the submission form, learn more, and submit an abstract to Tim Smail by Friday, July 31. Selected presenters will be notified by August 30.

Wildfire Service Day Kindles Volunteer Spirit

The 2015 National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day is set for Saturday, May 2 when volunteers will join wildfire safety and prevention advocates for community-based projects to reduce exposure to deadly wildfires.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) hosts the initiative to support mitigation in more than 72,000 communities at risk from wildfires and raise awareness of simple and cost-effective wildfire mitigation techniques to reduce fuels and maintain defensible space around homes and neighborhoods.

Project information is available on the Wildfire Prep Day website.