Not Even FORTIFIED Can Protect You from Everything

FORTIFIED A Program Of IBHS
Tree on House Roof

FORTIFIED Repairs are sometimes necessary. Nothing is invincible no matter which precautions we might take. Based on decades of research by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), the FORTIFIED standards are a collection of construction upgrades that work together to better protect homes from severe weather. Each of the three levels of FORTIFIED protection requires multiple layers of defenses to prevent a cascade of damage. That said, no home is 100% “hurricane-proof,” “tornado-proof” or even “stormproof.”  

While lab and real-world experience has proven FORTIFIED to be remarkably effective at limiting storm damage, we do expect some FORTIFIED homes to experience damage during extreme weather. For example, even the best shingles, metal, and tile have limitations, and that often means there will be roof cover loss during high wind events. However, the sealed roof deck, required by the FORTIFIED standards, will help to prevent the damage from escalating. Additionally, there are times when Mother Nature strikes in ways that go beyond the limits of FORTIFIED. So although, FORTIFIED has been tested against 130 mph winds and wind-driven rain, it offers little added protection from falling trees.

To continue our research and to make communities safer, IBHS is always searching for ways to make FORTIFIED homes stronger. If you live in a FORTIFIED Home and were impacted by a storm, please click the button below to complete a short survey.

Follow these additional steps if your FORTIFIED Home is damaged.

  • Report the damage to your insurance company.
  • Be sure your adjuster knows you have a FORTIFIED Home so your claim includes the upgraded labor and material required by the standards. You may also share this fact sheet that explains these requirements.
  • Tell your contractor that you want your FORTIFIED designation to remain valid.
  • If you have damage to walls, windows, chimney, doors, garage doors, or non-roof damage to attached structures like porches or carports, engage a FORTIFIED Evaluator before repairs are made.
    • Your evaluator will work with IBHS to create a plan to verify the specific FORTIFIED-compliant repairs required for your home.
    • The evaluator will coordinate with your selected contractor to ensure the repair meets FORTIFIED standards.
    • The contractor will make the repairs and your evaluator will submit required documentation to IBHS.
    • IBHS will issue a Notice of Continuance, acknowledging that your existing FORTIFIED designation is still in effect.

If your roof is being replaced, you will need a new FORTIFIED designation. To do this, you will need to engage a FORTIFIED Evaluator and hire a contractor who can install a FORTIFIED Roof. 

If your roof needs only to be repaired, hire a FORTIFIED-certified contractor to make repairs. 

  • The FORTIFIED-certified contractor will make repairs with FORTIFIED-compliant materials and installation techniques and will submit documentation of the repairs to IBHS for review.
  • IBHS will issue a Notice of Continuance, acknowledging that your existing FORTIFIED designation is still in effect.

If a FORTIFIED-certified contractor is not available, engage a FORTIFIED Evaluator before repairs are made.

  • The evaluator will coordinate with your selected contractor to ensure the repair meets FORTIFIED standards.
  • The contractor will make the repairs and your evaluator will submit required documentation to IBHS.
  • IBHS will issue a Notice of Continuance, acknowledging that your existing FORTIFIED designation is still in effect.

Available Funding

The US Small Business Association (SBA) offers disaster assistance in the form of low-interest loans to homeowners, renters, and business owners in regions affected by declared disasters. Loans are given to cover repairs and replacement of physical assets damaged in a declared disaster.

To protect homes and businesses from future storm damage, SBA will loan an additional 20% to property owners choosing to upgrade to the FORTIFIED standard. For more information about the SBA disaster loan program, visit sba.gov/disaster.

Download this checklist and take it to your roofer to get started.