To say that Kathy Egland, a recent MyStrongHome client, knows about the environment and climate change would be a drastic understatement. She sits on the NAACP National Board of Directors, chairs NAACP’s Environmental and Climate Justice Committee, and has lived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast for more than 40 years. She has witnessed firsthand the growing intensity of hurricanes and how these storms pose a danger to homes.

“The new roof has been a huge relief,” Egland says. “I really feel like I have an extra layer of protection.”

Kathy Egland striking the MyStrongHome pose!

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devastated her Gulfport, MS community although at first, Egland and her husband considered themselves lucky. The one-story brick house suffered extensive water damage from a leaky roof, but much of the Egland’s home remained intact unlike many of their neighbors. The couple replaced the roof, which ended up lasting a little more than a decade due to shoddy work, and then Egland’s respiratory issues began.

“It wasn’t just the water damage but also the health problems,” Egland explains. “I had to be hospitalized, and when we had the house tested, they found high levels of pathogenic mold, black mold. We had the mold professionally removed.”

Meanwhile through her work with the NAACP, Egland spearheaded efforts to raise climate change awareness and how people can adapt to it. Part of this approach is using more resilient construction materials and sustainable methods in order to lessen storm damage. The approach mirrors what MyStrongHome does by installing a FORTIFIED roof, which makes a house more storm resistant and able to withstand hurricane-strength winds.

Egland says she was impressed when she heard about MyStrongHome from a colleague. The increased protection was critical—even if the house lost roofing shingles, FORTIFIED’s plastic sheathing would prevent water from leaking through—and it was affordable.

“It sounded like a win/win of having it paid for through insurance savings and the added protection,” says Egland. “It made a lot of sense.”

Another aspect of the MyStrongHome method that really impressed Egland is that unlike most roofs the FORTIFIED is inspected and certified. As a homeowner, Egland found MyStrongHome offered a superior product, and, from her environmental work, she saw that model took into account climate change.

“From my experience with the NAACP, I know how critical climate adaptation, mitigation, sustainability and resilience are,” Egland says. “And I find that all under one roof—pun intended.”