Dr. Anne Cope joined IBHS in 2009 just a few months before the groundbreaking for the construction of the IBHS Research Center in Richburg, South Carolina. As the Chief Engineer, she leads the development of research programs to improve the performance of structures in hurricanes, wildfires, severe thunderstorms, and hailstorms as well as the team of engineers, scientists, and skilled craftsman who conduct research on full-scale homes and commercial buildings. She is responsible for the team’s implementation of research findings into building codes and standards.
Prior to joining IBHS, Dr. Cope was a project manager and structural engineer with Reynolds, Smith & Hills, Inc., designing projects for NASA, Department of Defense, and commercial launch operations. Dr. Cope’s research encompasses topics ranging from the full-scale simulation of wind effects on buildings to detailed studies of the vulnerabilities of buildings to natural hazards and the development of damage prediction models. She is also a proud veteran of the United States Army. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from Clemson University, and her doctorate from the University of Florida. She is a registered professional engineer in Florida and South Carolina.
Seven Ways to Get Your Home Ready for Hurricane Season
1. Review your insurance policy and assess your risks - Review your insurance policy and store your insurance agent’s contact information in your phone.
2. Resolve leaks - Existing leaks in your roof can worsen in severe weather.
Skylights: Install flashing around skylights to keep water from leaking into your home.
Chimneys: Remove and replace the flashing, including the ice and water barrier, around your chimney to ensure no water seeps into your home.
Flashing: Have leaky flashing removed and replaced.
Roof valleys: Remove and replace leaking valley metal on your roof.
3. Trim your trees - Trees in your yard could pose a threat to your home during high winds.
Have the trees around your home trimmed by an arborist. Remove branches that overhang the house and remove dead, dying, or diseased trees.
4. Inspect your roof - A roof in need of repair is more vulnerable to high winds.
Unsealed shingles are vulnerable to wind and rain. Have your roof inspected to make sure it’s ready to stand up to hurricane season.
5. Select a wind-rated garage door - Garage doors are one of the most vulnerable parts of the home in high winds. High winds can push a garage door inward, allowing pressure to push up on the roof and surrounding walls and cause a cascade of structural damage to your entire home. Wind-rated garage doors have been tested to withstand these pressures and can help protect your home. If you’re not sure whether your garage door is wind rated, it’s best to purchase a new one that is labeled showing it is designed for the winds likely in your area. If replacing your garage door is not possible, there are ways to reinforce your garage door temporarily with a brace.
6. Purchase hurricane shutters - Shutters can protect your windows and help keep out damaging winds. Plan ahead and purchase hurricane shutters (code-conforming aluminum paneling) to cover your windows if a hurricane nears. Find what’s right for your home with the IBHS Opening Protection Guide. Note: Plywood should only be used in place of shutters as a last-minute resort when tropical weather is imminent. Additionally, taping windows provides no protection and wastes time.
7. Get a whole–home generator - A generator will keep you prepared for a power outage year-round. Purchase a whole–home generator to keep your power on, regardless of the weather.