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Mitigating Homes – One Grant at a Time

On June 29, FLASH SVP Tim Smail headed to Charleston to support and train the next contingent of South Carolina Safe Home inspectors and contractors. The South Carolina Safe Home program is administered by the South Carolina Department of Insurance, and provides grants to homeowners to make their property more resistant to hurricanes and high-wind events like tornadoes. The inspector and contractor courses cover wind-mitigation inspection elements, and provide an overview of grant-eligible retrofits covered by the program.

Prior to the training, and as part of the ongoing partnership, FLASH staff and Technical Advisory Committee members updated the certification exams, course content, and the inspector and contractor guides to reflect the latest information adopted in the International Residential Building Code. According to Joseph McDonald, Consumer Liaison, South Carolina Department of Insurance, "The FLASH team provided outstanding service to the SC Safe Home program in a timely fashion. They met our very restrictive timeline, and helped us get the program jump-started for the upcoming fiscal year. We thank them for their hard work and dedication.”

Hurricane Readiness … On Our Minds

On July 11, FLASH team members Sarah Chason and Brittany Gredler joined the Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner/FLASH Leadership Partner Ralph T. Hudgens, Legacy Partner The Home Depot, and Chatham County Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) to host the 15th Annual Savannah Area Hurricane Preparedness Expo.

Delivering the message of preparedness, Commissioner Hudgens welcomed the crowd of hundreds by reminding us, “It only takes one hurricane to devastate an area. Being prepared and ready is the best way to save lives and protect your homes.”

FLASH Legacy Partners State Farm and USAA also participated and exhibited information and materials for attendees to take home and share with family and friends. Now in its 15th year, this annual community event delivers fun and informative booths, preparedness item giveaways, and customized seminars on hurricane readiness for more than 500 attendees.

2015 Great Hurricane Blowout Brings Back Popular Kohler Generator Contest

August brings the advent of peak hurricane season and the return of the popular Kohler® Standby Generator sweepstakes. Now through November 30, sweepstakes entries can be made through the Great Hurricane Blowout website, or by mail to Kohler Power Systems, Great Hurricane Blowout Sweepstakes, MS 072, 444 Highland Drive, Kohler, WI 53044.

“This contest benefits the lucky winners each year and helps bring critical information to thousands about how generators provide essential, emergency backup power to keep homes running during and after natural disasters,” said FLASH President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson. “We are proud to collaborate with Kohler once again for the Great Hurricane Blowout with this effective public awareness effort on the benefits of back-up power.”

FLASH Back to the Future with a 2016 Annual Conference Sponsorship

Sponsorship opportunities are now available for the 2016 FLASH Annual Conference - The Next Generation of Resilience, January 27-29, 2016.  The Conference brings together subject-matter experts from across the disaster safety and mitigation movements, and is recognized as one of the nation’s premier resilience conferences. Our conference sponsors help provide the resources necessary to execute a dynamic and successful conference and are recognized for their generous contributions.

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 or email Sarah Chason to find out how to take advantage of this exciting opportunity.

What Can You Build in Three Minutes?

After a national debut on June 24, the new Last House Standing app from FLASH is living up to the promise of “super-sized fun” while teaching players about the critical importance of how and where we build. Tech reporters like Adam Belkin featured the app on his New York City Time Warner Cable “App Wrap” – a twice-weekly segment highlighting the coolest and newest apps for cell phones and mobile devices. And positive reviews from media outlets like iPhone Life Magazine focused on the balance of purposeful fun and quality game play.

Players of Last House Standing learn that more than one million combinations and outcomes are possible even though there are just three minutes on the clock and a $100,000 budget to build a dream home. Game play is virtually endless and is keeping gamers well entertained. The app is available for download in both the Apple Store and Google Play.

FIU Turns to FLASH as They Launch New Spanish-Language Website

Florida International University has launched a new Spanish-language website featuring content and information from FLASH. The new website focuses on hurricane science, residential mitigation strategies, preparedness, and descriptions of NHC information products, including tropical cyclone advisories.

“The idea was to make sure that people had a Spanish-language option for hurricane-related information,” said Rich Olson, director of the FIU Extreme Events Institute and the International Hurricane Research Center.

The goal of the website is to help the Spanish-speaking community be better educated, informed, and prepared for hurricanes, including safeguarding their families, homes, and businesses.

“FIU is helping to remove another barrier between the public and the critical preparedness information they need to get ready in advance for the next hurricane,” said Dr. Rick Knabb, Director of NOAA’s National Hurricane Center.

The effort was funded by the Florida Division of Emergency Management through the Hurricane Loss Mitigation Program, and it can be viewed at https://huracanes.fiu.edu/.

Calling All Partners - FLASH Committee Memberships Now Available

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work alongside a futurist, a journalist, or an Emmy-award winner? How about serving on a team that connects advocacy, engineering, insurance, research and other experts all behind the cause of resilient building?

If you’re interested in serving on one of the most diverse teams in the disaster safety movement, consider joining one of the new FLASH committees. Formed by the FLASH Board of Directors, the committees are designed to drive growth in creative projects as well as partnerships, and membership is open to all new and existing partners in good standing. The four committees include Education, Leadership, Outreach, and Partnership. More information is available via email to Sarah@flash.org. Through this volunteer service, you will help advance our shared cause, meet new people, and have some fun along the way.

If you’re not a FLASH partner yet, email Barbara@flash.org to learn more today.