From Mississippi Press:

Mississippi has the weakest building standards of all the hurricane-prone states in the U.S., an insurance industry study concluded.

The state ranked dead last among 18 states near the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean in a study by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. Building codes can help homes withstand hurricanes and tornadoes, and they also often include measures to reduce electrical, fire and plumbing problems.

Counties and municipal governments along the coast have worked to fill in the gaps, requiring contractors to follow international building codes. But the state as a whole lags far behind.

Mississippi “has virtually no regulatory process in place for building codes,” a study summary said, and except for requirements in some Mississippi counties, there is “no statewide code, no mandatory enforcement, no programs or requirements for inspectors, and very few licensing requirements.”

Statewide codes set minimum standards for how structures are built. Building properties to meet such standards — and hiring inspectors to make sure the properties are being built to code — comes with a cost. But by reducing storm damage, codes can also save lives, protect property and keep insurance coverage less expensive and more widely available.

From the Mississippi Press at www.gulflive.com
3/4/12