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Resilient Construction Coalition Media Toolkit

The Resilient Construction Coalition pleased to present this media toolkit. This product will supply the tools for outreach to local, state and national media contacts, helping to generate publicity in support of build-resilient initiatives.

Inside are materials to help craft news releases, advisories, letters to the editor, blog posts, social media and more to better inform the public, media, policymakers and opinion leaders to increase support for resilient construction.

As a nationwide network of business and consumer organizations, companies, and emergency management officials, it is critical for each of the coalition members to engage their individual networks to create an echo chamber of voices in support of our positions.

The Resilient Construction Coalition is ready to help customize and execute a personalized media plan for Coalition organizations to help amplify this initiative.


>>Resilient Construction Coalition Members


News Release Template

For Immediate Release:


(xyz) xyz-abcd


CITY, STATE – MM DD, 2013 [Your Company/Organization] is urging members of [NAME OF STATE’S] federal delegation to support The Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act of 2013 (H.R. 3397). [Your Company/Organization] is part of a nationwide Resilient Construction Coalition that is encouraging members of Congress to support and to cosponsor this bipartisan legislation which would provide a tax incentive for home and building owners to use resilient construction techniques for residential and commercial structures.

NOTE: Add an original quotation from your president or principal: A relevant quotation is a highly effective way to deliver your message. Keep it easy for readers to understand. All message. No process.

Example: “The bottom line is that building strong with next-generation resilient construction techniques saves lives, property and ultimately money for taxpayers,” said [Your Company/Organization] president [Name] “If we want our communities to remain strong we must build them with resilience. Resilient construction is the proven way to achieve this. We urge our members of Congress to cosponsor H.R. 3397 and stand with us in building safer, stronger homes, schools and businesses.”

[Your Company/Organization] PRESIDENT [Name] noted the timeliness of the legislation with the recent devastating [Recent Natural Disaster in X city/state]. S/he said, the company, which employs ### workers, would be reaching out to [NAME ALL MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN YOUR STATE] urging them to cosponsor the legislation.

H.R. 3397, sponsored by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), offers a tax credit of $3,000 and $25,000 per structure, for home and building owners who use life-and-property saving techniques in residential and commercial construction respectively, when the structure meets the 2009 or later International Building Code (published by the International Code Council©) and has received the designation from the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety of FORTIFIED for Safer Living/Business.

Structures that are built within a federally declared disaster zone, up to three years following the occurrence of the disaster, would be eligible for the credit.

This legislation promotes investing in resilient construction in the wake of federal disasters and works to mitigate the impact of future disasters. Disasters in the United States are increasing in number and severity each year. Once a disaster strikes, we are faced with the task of rebuilding our communities so Americans can get back to work.

About Us

NOTE: Summarize your business and provide key facts that reporters will find useful, relevant and interesting.

Website and Social Media

Learn more about [Your Company/Organization] AT www.WEBSITE HERE.com, follow us on Twitter @Your Company/Organization Handle, Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Your Company/Organization and check out our photos on Instagram http://Instagram.com/Your Company/Organization


Media Advisory Template

For Immediate Release:


(xyz) xyz-abcd


Republican, Democrat Leaders to Join [Your Company/Organization], To Announce Support for Resilient Construction Legislation to Save Lives, Property and Taxpayer Dollars

CITY, STATE – MM DD, 2013 – Republican Floor Leader Joe Smith and Democrat Speaker Pro Tem Jane Smith will meet with [Your Company/Organization] on Thursday in the state capitol rotunda to announce new legislation that will help saving thousands of American lives each year by using resilient building techniques.

The new legislation comes on the heels of several major natural disasters, including xxxxx.

Who: Republican Floor Leader Joe Smith
Democrat Speaker Pro Tem Jane Smith
PRESIDENT [NAME] OF [Your Company/Organization]

What: News conference to announce new legislation that has the potential save thousands of American lives each year.

Where: State Capitol Rotunda

When: Thursday, MM DD, YR, x:00 pm

Talking Points


Now More Than Ever We Need To Build Resilient

• Incentivizing stronger, more durable construction of today’s residential and commercial buildings increases occupant safety, reduces costs associated with maintenance and reconstruction, and reduces their environmental footprint.
• Whether it’s the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy last year, the deadly tornadoes that struck in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, Joplin, Missouri and Moore, Oklahoma, or the wildfires that have burned through the west, now more than ever America needs to build stronger and more resilient.

Natural Disasters Impose Enormous Costs on America

• According to NOAA, 2012 alone saw 11 weather and climate related disasters, , making 2012 the second costliest year since 1980 with a total of more than $110 billion in damages throughout the year.
• Since 1980, natural disasters have cost the country more than $750 billion.

Investing In Resilient Construction Saves Lives and Taxpayer Dollars

• The Congressional Budget Office issued a report that concluded that for every $1 invested in mitigation at the federal level, the American taxpayer saves $3.20 on the back end.

Lightning Strikes Twice and Often; So Do Natural Disasters

• According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), contrary to folk wisdom, lightning does strike twice and often in the same place within a short period of time. So do natural disasters.

• The probability is the same each year as it is the first year for high magnitude storms such as the tornadoes that devastated Moore, Oklahoma. The EF5 tornado that struck in May, 2013, followed a similar path as the deadly tornado that struck this community in 1999.

Resilient Building is the Solution

• Resilient building techniques and FORTIFIED building programs like those outlined by The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety reduce the exposure that homes and businesses face in a natural disaster.


Safe Rooms Are Critical, Especially In Our Schools

• The community of Moore, Oklahoma was struck twice within 14 years, yet the schools that were struck in May 2013 did not have dedicated storm shelters or safe rooms for the children, their teachers and school administrators.

Resilient Construction Solution

• Once the roof blows off, an entire structure can collapse within seconds. Options for improving structural performance can produce effective results, particularly when combined with the use of a safe room.
• Widespread use of effective strapping, which might increase the cost of a wood frame house by two percent, would create houses that are significantly more resistant to all kinds of severe wind events.


Building Weak Costs Taxpayer Dollars; Building Resilient Saves Them

• The LSU Hurricane Center estimated that stronger building codes would have reduced wind damage from Hurricane Katrina by 80 percent, saving $8 billion.
• After Hurricane Andrew hit Florida in 1992, rebuilding costs would have been reduced by 50 percent for residential property and by 40 percent for commercial property if structures had been built in accordance with model building code standards. The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) found that losses from Hurricane Andrew totaled more than $20 billion.

Resilient Construction Solution

• The roof is the first line of defense for your home or business.
• Getting the roof right starts with choosing the right type of design, selecting the right materials and following proper installation practices at the time of construction or when remodeling.
• Utilize stronger, safer structures. Carefully following high-wind construction guidance can produce significantly stronger, safer buildings.


Fire-Resistant Building

• Recent wildfires in Colorado destroyed over 400 homes, more than any other fire in Colorado history, illustrating the need for strong, fire-resistant building construction.

Resilient Construction Solution

• Build with fire-resistant building construction techniques such as building firebreaks (materials that do not burn) into the landscape design, such as concrete walkways or flower box borders. Defensible spaces built with fire-resilient construction can serve as a force field between your home or business and a fire.

Social Media Primer


Does your organization have a blog? Posting quick vignettes and observations on the issues you care about is a great way to generate new content and drive traffic to the site by posting this content on social media channels.

Sample Blog Post:

Headline: Colorado Wildfire Spotlights Need to Build Resilient & Fire Resistant

Our hearts are heavy for the victims of the Colorado wildfire. The media is reporting that nearly 400 homes have been destroyed and at least two lives have been lost due to the devastating wildfire. Thirteen thousand people have been forced to flee their homes to escape the wildfire that has now eclipsed last year’s Waldo Canyon fire as the state’s most destructive.

The Colorado wildfire has many wondering what they can do to mitigate the risk of a fire or wildfire in the future. Some are surprised to learn there are science-based resilient building techniques that can help you protect your home or business from disasters like this.

Fire-resistant building construction techniques, such as building firebreaks (things that don’t burn – such as concrete walkways or flower box borders) into the landscape design can help save lives and slow the spread of a wildfire. Defensible spaces built with fire-resilient construction can serve as a force field between your home or business and a fire.

To learn more about how you can protect yourself, your family or your business, go to http://www.resilientconstruction.org and the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety at http://DisasterSafety.org.



Help build and engage our Resilient Construction Coalition by reaching out through Twitter with quick, 140-character messages that will help spread the word about our initiatives.

1.) Make sure to follow Resilient Construction Coalition Members (@ASCETweets @CRSI_tweets @disastersafety @IntlCodeCouncil @NSSGA @NRMCA @PCIprecast @PCIAA @@TiltUpToday) and encourage Twitter followers to do the same.

Sample: Help protect American homes & businesses by joining our Resilient Construction Coalition. Follow @XXX + join us!

2.) Create a steady stream of content with links to the latest news and content at the Resilient Construction Coalition website to help gain the attention of networks, influencers and the media.

3.) Coordinate with our supporters and third party allies to retweet content that is relevant to our coalition. Follow other coalition members who use Twitter and retweet their content.

4.) Use Twitter to drive your followers to pages on your website relevant to resilient building.

Sample Tweets:

How can you protect your home or business from a natural disaster? Get the facts: http://www.disastersafety.org #BuildResilient

Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety @DisasterSafety has tips to protect your home or biz from a wildfire. http://bit.ly/14lWXTz

According to @NOAA, disasters in 2012 caused $110B in damages. Learn how resilient building saves taxpayer dollars. http://bit.ly/11gNy0D

Improve your community’s disaster resilience. Learn more! http://bit.ly/1672oqt


Share Resilient Construction posts and content on Facebook, especially photos which are typically the most popular “likes” and shared content on this platform.

1.) Be sure to “like” Resilient Construction Members Facebook pages and “share” our content with Facebook friends and followers.

2.) Engage with one another and our key allies. For example, sharing photos and posts from our Congressional allies and engaging directly with them with wall posts thanking them for their leadership in supporting our legislative priorities.

3.) Sample photo to share:

Example Facebook Posts:

September is National Preparedness Month. Check out these photos of buildings that are ready for anything.
We are grateful for Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart’s leadership in sponsoring resilient construction legislation. Let friends know he is sponsoring legislation that will save lives, property and taxpayer dollars!

Are you ready for hurricane season? Find out if your home or business is ready with these resources. Link: http://www.disastersafety.org/disastersafety/2013-hurricane-season/

Letters to the Editor Program

The publishing of letters to the editor in local newspapers supporting the positions of the coalition are very effective in persuading and informing policymakers and influencers.

These letters create an echo chamber for everyone involved directly in public policy. With social media, we now have the ability to share these letters more widely than ever before.

When local letters are published in the hometown newspapers of our members and business owners it provides an added layer of authority to our issues.

Sample Letters To The Editor:

Dear Editor:

As our community begins to rebuild after the devastating May tornadoes, citizens and policymakers should resist any temptation to cut corners and rebuild on the cheap.

It has been barely 14 years since our community was struck by an F5 tornado back in 1999. This should be a wake-up call for our community to build stronger and more resilient everywhere, but especially in the reconstruction of our two elementary schools.

Eeverywhere I go people are concerned about what will happen if we get hit again and how can we be better prepared. They are right to be concerned. But there are many valuable lessons we can learn from these devastating tornadoes.

First, every new structure should be constructed with the goal of using the strongest, safest and most resilient materials so that these buildings can withstand most anything Mother Nature throws at it.

Second, we should consider modernizing our building process to including resilient building techniques, including safe rooms and other build-resilient options, to ensure we establish the highest standards of construction that will last longer and help save lives and property.

Federal, state and local policymakers should demand that any taxpayer-funded disaster aid be spent on high-quality building and infrastructure. Rebuilding Moore will be a process. It is a process that requires the best in construction with no shortcuts.


Dear Editor:

Our community has been overwhelmed by the generosity of Americans everywhere after the tornadoes. Their donations to help rebuild our community are deeply appreciated. Now it’s time to put those contributions – and the government disaster assistance that is coming – to the most effective use and to build a safer future for the citizens of XXX.

One of our chief priorities ought to be ensuring that the homes, businesses and schools built today are stronger than those lost to this disaster. Every new structure should be guided by resilient, build-resilient construction techniques to ensure that our homes, businesses, schools and churches are safer and more resilient.

Resilient, safer building is the simplest and most effective means of mitigating disaster. This initiative would save lives, protect property and reduce the need for government aid in the future, especially in communities like ours which have been repeatedly hit by natural disasters.

I urge federal, state and local policymakers to take the long view when it comes to rebuilding our community. Let’s not only rebuild, let’s rebuild stronger and smarter.


Dear Editor:

Hurricane season is well underway, which is a reminder to anyone considering building a new construction, home or business that could find itself in the path of a large storm, that they should consider science-based techniques known as resilient construction before they build.

There is currently legislation before the Congress that would provide an incentive for those who use resilient building techniques such as reinforced roofing procedures. In a hurricane or large storm, your roof is often your home or businesses’ first line of defense in weathering the storm.

H.R. 3397, sponsored by U.S. Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, provides for a tax credit of $3,000 and $25,000 per structure for home owners or building owners who build resilient.

As a lifelong Floridian, I’ve seen my share of big storms. The Congress ought to provide this incentive for those who take responsibility for building structures that can help their homes and businesses last a lifetime and more.


Dear Editor:

Whether it’s the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy last year, the deadly tornadoes that struck Joplin, Missouri and Moore, Oklahoma or the wildfires that have burned through California and Colorado, now more than ever America needs to build stronger and more resilient.

With this in mind, our federal officials should support the Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act of 2013 (H.R. 3397). This important legislation sponsored by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) offers a tax credit of $3,000 and $25,000 per structure, for home and building owners who use resilient building techniques that have been tested by science and are proven to save lives and property in the event of a disaster.

Like me, many Americans are concerned about spending in Washington, but the cost of building on the cheap is more expensive long term. In fact, the National Institute of Building Sciences conducted a study that concluded that for every $1 invested in mitigation at the federal level, the American taxpayer saves $4 on the back end.

With places like Moore, Oklahoma being hit twice by tornadoes in a relatively short period of time, we should support building strong and resilient, which is an investment in lives and our communities.


Dear Editor:

The devastating wildfire that ravaged Colorado destroying nearly 500 homes and claiming two lives has people wondering, “could it happen to me?” For many the truth is, yes, it could. Fortunately, there are home-and-business-building techniques that can help lessen the threat and prevent fires altogether. Fire-resistant building is one of the science-based techniques that expert builders use to mitigate the threat of fire.

We can help save lives by building with techniques known as resilient construction. These resilient methods include the use of fire-resistant roofing shingles and siding and building defensible spaces, known as "firebreaks" (i.e. things that don’t burn), into the landscape design such as concrete walkways or flower box borders. These defensible spaces designed with fire-resilient construction can serve as a force field between our homes or businesses and a life-threatening fire.

There is currently an effort by the Congress to incentivize resilient construction. The bill, H.R. 3397, would provide a tax credit to home owners or building owners using resilient construction. These stronger building techniques not only save lives and property, they save taxpayer dollars. The National Institute of Building Sciences conducted a study that concluded that for every $1 invested in mitigation at the federal level, the American taxpayer saves $4 on the back end.

Colorado and other cities struck by natural disasters (often repeatedly) ought to rebuild using these proven methods, and Congress should provide the incentive to ensure we rebuild resiliently. Our representatives in Washington should take a close look at H.R. 3397 and cosponsor this important legislation.


Resilient Construction Coalition Portals and Microsites

Web Portal:

Show support for the Resilient Construction Coalition by adding a portal to your website homepage. Working with a web developer we can provide the artwork needed to feature the Resilient Construction Coalition logo on websites and help recruit new members and advocates on behalf of our coalition.

Also use this portal to direct traffic to your homepage when speaking to groups about resilient construction or sending messages through your social networks about the coalition.


Create a web page dedicated exclusively to the Resilient Construction Coalition. A microsite is an individual webpage designed to work within an existing website to engage a unique and specific audience.

An effective Resilient Construction Coalition Microsite should include the following:

• A quote and photo (or video message) from a member or leading public official.
• An “About the Coalition” paragraph box: “The Resilient Construction Coalition is a network of industry leaders and public safety specialists dedicated to saving lives, property and taxpayer dollars by supporting strong, resilient building techniques and public policies that support build-resilient strategies.”
• Contact information.
• Email “sign up for information” bar.
• Vital statistics.
• Social media platforms.

Disaster Savings and Resilient Construction Act - H.R. 3397

One page flyer (pdf)


Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

One page pdf