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FEMA Pushes for Hurricane Debris Protection

By Catherine M. Welch

Wilmington, NC – Insurance Commissioner Jim Long says the state needs to adopt provisions requiring either plywood, shutters or impact resistant windows for new homes in coastal areas.

The Department of Insurance says the Federal Emergency Management Agency has warned that homes destroyed by flying debris could loose out on federal assistance unless the provisions are adopted.

State Senator for New Hanover County Julia Boseman sits on the study committee looking into the issue. She says she supports the idea, but FEMA should resist from making threats.

"I'm not saying that we shouldn't make changes and we're certainly willing to work with the department of insurance to get this done, but I don't like being threatened and I don't think anyone else does either but I don't see that we'll have much choice than to try to implement more stringent standards on this wind borne debris to ensure that we get the federal money."

The North Carolina Department of Insurance says every dollar spent preventing damage from flying debris saves $5 in repair costs.