Following the hurricanes that struck Florida and Alabama in 2004, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issued several new guidelines intended to enhance wind resistances of asphalt shingle and tile roof systems. The new guidelines have been provided to the communities affected by the hurricanes as a resource to improve the wind performances of roof systems during future high-wind events.
In some instances, the guidelines provide practical, common-sense enhancements that should prove to be effective, low-cost means of improving these roof systems' wind resistances. However, in other instances, FEMA's guidelines largely are unsubstantiated, misguided and contrary to best practices of the roofing industry.
Following is a brief overview of FEMA and its latest hurricane-recovery advisories applicable to roof systems, as well as NRCA's opinions about these new guidelines.