Greening Can Equal Disaster-Proofing

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Denny and Caeli Gignoux of Whitefish, Mont., have done all they can to "green" their home, installing energy-efficient windows, appliances and heating.

But in the midst of this hurricane season, with so many homes already battered, safe building advocates point out the Gignouxs didn't just green their home -- they helped disaster-proof it.

"One of the things that we like to concentrate on is how you can make your home both more environmentally friendly and more secure in the event of a disaster," Deborah Ballen, general counsel at the Institute for Business and Home Safety, told CBN News.

"We call that going green and building strong," she said.

Ballen's group pushes disaster-proof greening, adding that homes in America's southern hurricane zone can especially profit from it. 

"That's one area of the country where we really do see double-benefit," Ballen said.

The same things you'd do to fight the battering blows of a major storm also make your abode cheaper to air condition or heat.

"That means you use less fuel and help the environment," Ballen explained.

"But from our perspective you also make that home more resistant against a major wind storm or a major hurricane," she said.

Ballen discussed a couple of examples.

"Stronger windows that might make your house more energy-efficient can also protect you in the event of a strong wind," she said. "Improving your roof also to improve energy-efficiency can help in the event of a hail storm."

Such efforts are called "disaster mitigation." And what you spend for mitigation can really profit both you and society if disaster does hit your neighborhood.

"For every one dollar that a homeowner invests in mitigation, there's a $4 savings in terms of their personal loss and also the losses to society."

It's something to consider as hurricane season continues to swirl its way across the calendar.

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.