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FEMA's Commitment to Building Safety Month

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FEMA’s Planning, Safety and Building Science Director and lead of the agency’s Building Codes Strategy, Ed Laatsch, shares more about the importance of building codes and how they contribute to a more resilient nation.

Each May, Building Safety Month is an initiative led by the International Code Council and supported by FEMA as it contributes to safeguarding lives and property by raising awareness of the importance of building codes and community resilience. FEMA recognizes that investing in building safety is crucial for mitigating the impact of natural disasters and the effects of climate change. By promoting building safety practices, FEMA and the International Code Council aim to enhance community resilience among individuals, communities and building professionals.

The Role of Building Codes and Several FEMA Initiatives

This month-long education campaign, themed "Mission Possible," spans five weeks, with each week covering different themes and to raise awareness about building safety. We need more community officials, planners and developers to support the ongoing efforts of engineers, construction works, trade unions, building inspectors and other building professional to help keep us safe at home, at work and in our communities. This includes information on advocating for building safety in communities and highlights building safety professionals and their contributions. It covers their crucial duties, how to work with them, and how to become one. 

Building resilient communities and homes starts with adopting and enforcing robust and up-to-date building codes which includes residential, business, energy and many other codes. They serve as a blueprint for constructing structures that can withstand emergencies and the different forces of nature, including powerful winds, seismic activity, flooding and extreme hot or cold. 

Annual Presidential Proclamation for National Building Safety Month

Showcasing how pivotal Building Safety Month is, the President of the United States has issued a Presidential Proclamation reaffirming the nation's commitment to make our buildings stronger, more sustainable and our dedication to building safety and resilience in the wake of the increasing threats of climate disasters. It underscores the government's dedication to promoting safety measures and serves as a call to action for individuals and communities to prioritize building safety and work together towards creating safer, more resilient communities.

Read More about Each Theme Week for May

As we approach this year's Building Safety Month theme - "Mission Possible" - let us recognize the critical role of building safety in safeguarding our communities and commit to building stronger, safer communities that can withstand the challenges of tomorrow.

Celebrate throughout the month by using hashtag #BuildingSafetyMonth2024 on social media.

Week 1: Understand the Mission
This week introduces building safety, what Building Safety Month is and how building safety affects us all.

Week 2: Prepare a Building Safety Plan
This week highlights available educational resources (water/fire, sustainability & resiliency/disaster preparedness), including downloadable brochures, for building safety tips and best practices at home and in your community.

Week 3: Learn from the Pros
This week shines a spotlight on building safety professionals, including what they do, how to work with them and how to become one yourself.

Week 4: Engage Your Community
This week highlights information on how to advocate for building safety in your community, including actionable tips on how to be a proponent of building safety and ways to get kids involved.

Week 5: Celebrate Success in Building Safety
This week highlights individuals and communities who are making a difference in building safety (editorial spotlights), including sharing the current year's Building Safety Month celebrations and events.

For more information on Building Safety Month, read the recent press release.