March 13, 2017

Reuters

By Megan Rowling

NEW ORLEANS (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – After Hurricane Sandy battered New York in 2012, American entrepreneur Ramsey Green and his partners came up with an innovative way to protect houses from extreme weather – one that would also be affordable for their occupants.

The startup MyStrongHome, which works in the coastal areas of Alabama, Louisiana and South Carolina, allows homeowners to pay for a new, reinforced roof out of savings from the lower insurance bills they get thanks to their dwelling being safer.

Green estimates that potential losses in a storm would be 30 to 60 percent lower in the strengthened homes. The work, carried out by the firm’s contractors, typically costs around $10,000. Participants make a down-payment of between $2,000 and $3,000, and pay back the rest over five to seven years.

“There is also a public benefit in terms of people not being displaced in a disaster,” Green said this month at a New Orleans conference on resilience, which tackled how to fund projects that help cities, communities and individuals stand up to disasters and other threats.

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