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Volume 21, Issue 3, March 2019
Month in Review
Leslie Chapman-Henderson, Kevin Harrison, Mike Bettes, Alex Wilson and Dr. Rick Knabb
The Weather Channel Features FLASH Leadership Partner

FLASH Leadership Partner and tornado survivor Kevin Harrison and FLASH President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson appeared on The Weather Channel's evening show, Weather Underground, on March 6 to make the case for disaster-resilient building and tornado safety. Meteorologists Mike Bettes, Dr. Rick Knabb, and Alex Wilson hosted the pair for two interviews that focused on the show's weeklong series on extreme weather impacts on homes and buildings.
In the first segment, Leslie cited the affordability and performance of resilient buildings during Hurricane Michael last year stating, "... it doesn't have to break the bank and can be done very affordably as evidenced by the Habitat Strong homes that survived the hurricane. Many of these homes survived with only cosmetic damage." The interview included a discussion on the importance of strong building codes as well.  Read More >
Leslie Chapman-Henderson
FLASH and AIA Florida Joins Forces at NCMA

On February 13, Leslie Chapman-Henderson and EVP Eric Vaughn joined AIA Florida Executive Vice President Vicki L. Long, CAE and a coalition of resilience partners at the National Concrete Masonry Association's Annual Convention (NCMA). T he Orlando conference brought together attendees from all sectors of the concrete industry for networking, community, and education with a wide variety of events including an industry trade show, B2B events, committee activities, panel presentations, and more. The convention coincided with the ICON-Xchange 2019, a premier event for the manufactured concrete masonry and hardscape industry, including FLASH Legacy Partner Portland Cement Association. Read More >
James McGowan
Long-time Partner Becomes New FLASH Team Member

Please join us in welcoming James McGowan as the new FLASH Partnership and Development Director. James is a long-time FLASH partner and a member of the Board of Directors.
Prior to joining FLASH, James served as the Director of Development and Philanthropy at the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. In this role, he developed and implemented fundraising strategies adopted for Generation X & Y philanthropic habits. Prior to his tenure at the Food Bank, James served as Director of Strategic Initiatives for the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. Read More >
Partner Spotlight
Darius Grimes
Partner Spotlight - Darius Grimes

Darius Grimes is the president of Disaster Smart Consulting, Inc. (Disaster Smart). He specializes in the development and implementation of practical long-term solutions to natural and man-made risks through strengthening of building codes and implementation of common-sense mitigation programs. Darius is working with like-minded state, local, regional, national, and international organizations to promote long-term economic sustainability and implement new mitigation programs based on the successes of the My Safe Florida Home, SC Safe Home, and Rebuild North West Florida programs.

Q: How did you get interested in disaster safety?

Following Hurricane Andrew, a small handful of contractors began questioning how we were building and if there were changes we could make to prevent losses. In 1995, Pensacola became a Project Impact Community after Hurricane's Erin and Opal hit back-to-back only 30 days apart. As more hurricanes continued to make landfall along the north Gulf Coast, I began focusing my career path towards industries and companies that were engaged in reducing damage to life, property, and communities. In 2008, this path led to the creation of Disaster Smart, an inspections company that works daily with advisory committees, building code officials, consumers, governments, insurance companies, and other nonprofit organizations. Read More >
Partner News
ISO Recognized for Commitment to Resilience
The FLASH Board of Directors is pleased to announce their recognition of Legacy Partner ISO with a Distinguished Service Award for their commitment to disaster safety and resilience and extraordinary partnership. 

ISO was selected for their excellence and constancy of the Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS) program as well as professional counsel to key stakeholders at the national, state, and local level.

"ISO's assessments of building code adoption, enforcement, and overall quality are unparalleled in value as a predictor of future building performance and community survival," said FLASH President and CEO Leslie Chapman-Henderson. "Moreover, the professionalism of the ISO team has established it as the premier provider of data of this kind."

This honor is reserved for those organizations that have made invaluable contributions of dedication, service, and support to the FLASH Partnership and resilience movement overall.
Read News Release >
Alabama Leads Nation in Building the Strongest Hurricane-Resilient Homes

Kelly Bowers and husband, Robert, had no idea what building to FORTIFIED Home standards meant when they were looking to construct a new home in 2012.

As they investigated building options, the couple learned about insurance discounts offered only in Alabama which encourage people to build sturdier structures in the state's coastal region.

The insurance incentives are one of the reasons why the Bowers learned that Alabama has emerged at the national trendsetter, thanks to Mobile and Baldwin counties, in building homes that adhere to the strictest building standards in the U.S.
  Read More >
Build with the Best to Prepare for Nature's Worst

High-wind forces pose unique challenges to building structures. Whether you're an engineer, builder or homeowner, Simpson Strong-Tie's High-Wind Solutions page has answers and resources to help you protect structures against high-wind events.  Read More >

FEMA Releases Hurricane Harvey Report

To assess the impacts of Hurricane Harvey on Texas' built environment, FEMA's Building Science Branch deployed a Mitigation Assessment Team (MAT) in November and December 2017. The MAT was deployed to Harris County to assess flood performance issues, and to Aransas, Nueces, Refugio, and San Patricio Counties to assess wind performance issues. MAT members evaluated building systems to determine the effectiveness of various design and construction practices and ascertain the effect of code adoption and enforcement on reducing flood and wind damage. The FLASH team was proud to support the MAT process and report findings as part of its  mission to promote disaster resilience. 
Hurricane Harvey dropped an estimated 70 inches of rain over parts of Texas during a 7-day period, with sustained winds up to 130 mph. The hurricane caused widespread damage to residential and commercial buildings and infrastructure. The MAT's observations and resulting conclusions and recommendations are presented in FEMA P-2022, Mitigation Assessment Team Report: Hurricane Harvey in Texas and were used to develop two Recovery Advisories. To improve resiliency in future events, the lessons learned can either be incorporated into best practices for future retrofits or new hazard-resistant building design.

The Recovery Advisories and FEMA P-2022 are available on FEMA's webpage. The Hurricane Harvey in Texas MAT Report can be downloaded  here.
Collaboration Opportunities and Upcoming Events
Get #HurricaneStrong at the National Hurricane Conference

Join FLASH at the 2019  National Hurricane Conference (NHC) , April 22 - April 25 in New Orleans where Leslie Chapman-Henderson will address the General Session and the FLASH partnership will be present three workshops including the No Code. No Confidence. campaign, the #HurricaneStrong community Designation Program, and the popular Media Rap Session. These panels will feature a wide array of experts in the fields of emergency management, engineering and broadcasting.
While at the conference make sure to visit the Resilience Row during in the expo hall. If you are a FLASH partner and would like to designate your exhibit space in Resilience Row, email
The National Hurricane Conference is the nation's top forum for education and professional training in hurricane and disaster preparedness with more than 100 workshops, training opportunities, and rap sessions.
Visit for additional information, including links to conference events and hotel registration.
2019 National Tropical WX Conference to Draw Top Experts

Make plans to attend the  National Tropical Weather Conference presented by USAA on April 3-6, in South Padre Island, TX, the nation's premier forum for professional training in hurricane preparedness. The conference covers all aspects of preparedness providing a unique opportunity to learn from top experts in tropical meteorology.

Dr. Philip Klotzbach, Research Scientist in the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University will open the conference with a report on the current hurricane season forecast. Other speakers will include current and former National Hurricane Center directors, Ken Graham, Max Mayfield, and Bill Read, ABC News Meteorologist Rob Marciano, as well as other experts in the field of extreme weather.

Conference attendees include those from broadcast meteorology, digital media, oil and gas, shipping, marine operations, and corporations. The conference offers two professional development credits to NWA and AMS broadcast members and certificates to document participation in the conference. For more information on the conference visit  Hurricane Center Live .
NDRC19 Early Registration Now Open

Register now to take advantage of early bird savings for the 2019 National Disaster Resilience Conference  (NDRC19) November 19-22, in Clearwater Beach, FL, before they expire.

The NDRC is the premier leadership conference that brings together the nation's foremost voices in the disaster safety and resilience movement, drawing a diverse crowd of experts and organizations across all sectors. Attendees will enjoy keynote presentations, discussion panels, and spotlight topics that focus on the latest in science, policy, and practice to create more resilient buildings and disaster-resilient communities. Read More >
Save the Date - 2019 NSSA Storm Shelter Conference

Mark your calendars for the 2019 Storm Shelter Conference presented by the National Storm Shelter Association (NSSA) on November 12 -13 in Birmingham, Alabama.

Conference registration will begin at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, November 12 at the Hilton Birmingham UAB, directly followed by the meeting's start at 8:30 a.m.

The primary purpose of NSSA is to ensure their members produce the highest quality of residential, commercial, and community safe rooms for protecting people from injury or loss of life from the effects of tornadoes and other wind related events.

For more details about the conference, visit
Site Selected for 2020 National Earthquake Conference

Save the date for the 2020 National Earthquake Conference (NEC) set for March 4 - 6 at the Sheraton Hotel & Marina San Diego. 
Every four years, the NEC brings together seismic stakeholders to address the science, policy, and practical developments in the earthquake and tsunami safety realm. The 2016 conference drew worldwide experts, inspired an immediate increase in financial support for earthquake safety research, and generated an ongoing, global dialogue about challenges the U.S. faces with seismic risk.  
Click here to view  2016 NEC conference outcomes , and here to read the  2016 media impact report . Stay tuned for more details in upcoming editions of Partners in Prevention.
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