"Millions of homes are being built in communities with archaic building codes, leaving them vulnerable to flooding, hurricane winds and earthquakes, according to a groundbreaking new federal report that links out-of-date building codes to billions of dollars in property damage.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency's long-awaited study of building codes shows that 65% of the counties and municipalities in the United States "have not adopted modern building codes."
"The people living in those places are bearing a dangerous, costly, and unnecessarily high level of risk in the face of natural disasters," FEMA concluded in a report released Friday.
The communities with archaic building codes incur an additional $1.6 billion a year in property damage combined — or $32 billion over 20 years — from flooding, strong winds and earthquakes that they would avert with up-to-date codes, FEMA found. Modern codes require features such as the elevation of buildings in flood zones and better-secured roofs in hurricane-prone areas."