|[November 19, 2012]
Travelers, Habitat for Humanity Join Forces to Develop Communities, Build Safer Homes in Coastal Regions
HARTFORD, Conn. --(Business Wire)--
The Travelers Foundation, the charitable division of The Travelers
Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV), today announced a new initiative with Habitat
for Humanity International and the Insurance
Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) to invest in the
resilience of local communities by building affordable, wind-resistant
homes in coastal regions of the United States.
"As an insurer, Travelers has seen firsthand the destruction to homes,
businesses and infrastructure caused by extreme wind events, such as
hurricanes and tornadoes, and the disruptions to families and businesses
that result," said Eric M. Nelson, Travelers' Vice President of
Enterprise Catastrophe and Analysis. "Travelers believes the risk to
life and property can be reduced by constructing more resilient homes,
developing sound disaster preparedness plans, improving sensible land
use planning and enhancing building codes."
As part of $500,000 in grants provided by the Travelers Foundation in
2012, Travelers sponsored eight pilot Habitat for Humanity builds, which
are now underway in Alabama and Mississippi. These homes were
constructed in accordance with IBHS' FORTIFIED construction standards
and additional fortified builds are planned in various coastal markets
through 2013 and beyond. These construction practices provide practical,
meaningful upgrades to strengthen new, as well as existing, structures.
Travelers is also funding the development of IBHS training programs and
materials to support Habitat affiliates' efforts to build safer,
wind-resistant homes in partnership with low-income families.
"For more than 150 years, Travelers has worked to ensure that millions
of Americans are protected when things go wrong," said Marlene Ibsen,
Vice President of Community Relations and CEO of the Travelers
Foundation. "In that vein, we are proud to support the Habitat
organization both financially and through our large base of employee
volunteers in this important endeavor."
"Our partnership with Travelers, supported by IBHS and its FORTIFIED
program, helps local Habitat affiliates develop neighborhoods with
affordable housing built to withstand increasingly unpredictable
weather," said Lysa Ratliff, Senior Director of Corporate Programs at
Habitat for Humanity International. "We couldn't be more pleased to
partner with Travelers to create affordable housing that addresses
specific needs in coastal communities."
Building stronger homes is a key principle of the Traveles
Coastal Wind Zone Plan, the company's proposal to improve the
availability and affordability of windstorm insurance for homeowners in
communities along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts. At a 2010 symposium in
Mobile, Ala., on "Mitigation
Strategies for the Alabama Coastal Region," Travelers announced a
credit for fortified homes to encourage homeowners, builders and
building officials to adopt these disaster resistant standards. The
company also donated $15,000 to Habitat for Humanity of Baldwin County
at the event, which helped set the stage for the partners' new
initiative to build safer homes.
IBHS FORTIFIED Program Manager Fred Malik noted that, "IBHS is proud to
partner with Travelers and Habitat for Humanity to build stronger, safer
homes. Our partnership demonstrates that you can build affordable homes
that incorporate the highest level of disaster-resistant design and
Builds began in Fairhope, Ala., in the summer of 2012 and will continue
in key coastal regions throughout 2013. The new program builds on
Travelers' 20-year history of supporting Habitat's mission:
Travelers and Habitat for Humanity established a national relationship
to support Travelers volunteer builds in 2002, and Travelers' local
support dates back to 1994.
Since 1994, Travelers has provided nearly $5 million in support of
In 2011, Travelers and the Travelers Foundation granted more than
$600,000 to help Habitat create affordable housing in partnership with
low-income families across the U.S., and approximately 2,000 employees
were engaged as Habitat volunteers.
This year, Travelers employees participated in approximately 35 builds
across the United States, and $250,000 of the $500,000 of Travelers
Foundation grants to Habitat in 2012 supported the fortified project.
The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV)
is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto,
A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Travelers has more than
30,000 employees and generated revenues of approximately $25 billion in
2011. The company provides support for charitable organizations in the
community through the Travelers Foundation and with corporate funding.
The company's community giving is focused on education, community
development and the arts. Travelers employees are consistently active in
community initiatives and perform thousands of hours in volunteer time
each year. For more information, visit www.travelers.com.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Humanity International is a global nonprofit Christian housing
organization that seeks to put God's love into action by bringing people
together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has
served more than 500,000 families by welcoming people of all races,
religions and nationalities to construct, rehabilitate or preserve
homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by
providing training and access to resources to help families improve
their shelter conditions. For more information, to donate or to
volunteer, please visit www.Habitat.org,
follow us at www.facebook.com/habitat
or at www.twitter.com/habitat_org
or join Habitat's blog community at www.habitat.org/blog.
IBHS is an independent, nonprofit, scientific and
educational organization supported by the property insurance industry.
The organization works to reduce the social and economic effects of
natural disasters and other risks to residential and commercial property
by conducting research and advocating improved construction, maintenance
and preparation practices.
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