Hurricane Matthew Nearly Leads RICOWI to WIP Mobilization

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October 20, 2016
By David Balistreri, RRC, CDT
RICOWI Vice-Chair


The Roofing Industry Committee on Weather Issues (RICOWI) held its 2016 fall meeting in Denver, Colorado on October 4-5 as Hurricane Matthew approached the coast of Florida.

The primary topic on everyone’s mind during the conference was whether Hurricane Matthew would necessitate the mobilization of the Wind Investigation Program (WIP) along the coast of Florida. By the end of the conference, volunteers were ready to move into Florida at a moment’s notice to evaluate roof performance after a major hurricane. Matthew did not turn out to meet the qualifications to mobilize WIP. According to The Weather Channel, “Matthew made one official U.S. landfall on Oct. 8 southeast of McClellanville, South Carolina, as a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds.”

For RICOWI investigations, the program stipulates a hurricane of Category II or greater. With hurricane season almost over, it appears the next WIP mobilization will wait until at least 2017.

Dr. Ian Giammanco of  IBHS presents to RICOWI attendees at NCAR.
Dr. Ian Giammanco of IBHS presents to RICOWI attendees at NCAR.

Apart from the general membership and board meetings, various committee meetings were held to advance RICOWI’s mission as the leading think tank regarding roof-covering performance during significant weather-related events. The committee meetings included Hail Investigation Program (HIP), Wind Investigation Program (WIP), Moisture, Underlayment, Codes, Green, Membership, Conference, and Best Practices.

A brief summary of the RICOWI 2016 Dallas, Texas HIP findings was presented, while the full findings will be presented at the RCI International Convention in Anaheim, CA, in March 2017.

In addition, presentations at, and a facility tour of, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) were held.

NCAR Main Entrance
NCAR Main Entrance

RICOWI will hold its spring 2017 meeting (March 16-17) in conjunction with the RCI International Convention and Trade Show. The theme of the conference will be “What’s Underneath Matters” and will focus on fasteners and underlayments. Also at the spring conference will be the initial unveiling of the “Best Practices” guide for roofing systems affected by weather-related catastrophes, including hail, wind, fire, and cold climate. This joint program, developed in unison with the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS), will be a central field data resource for adjusters, consultants, contractors, etc. to reference when questions regarding best practice for repair and/or replacement of various roof materials arise. This resource will be rolled out in phases starting in March of 2017.