Reading Time: 3 minutes

Rebuilding Together, Inc. to Receive Travelers’ Community Resilience

GREENVILLE, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Travelers Institute, the public policy division of The Travelers
Companies, Inc. (NYSE: TRV),
will host its ninth annual “Kicking Off Hurricane Preparedness Season”
symposium in Greenville, North Carolina, at East Carolina University.
The event will provide community members with strategies to better
prepare for, and recover from, severe storms during the 2019 Atlantic
hurricane season.

“The storms that hit North Carolina last year caused substantial damage
and served as a reminder of the importance of planning,” said Joan
Woodward, President of the Travelers Institute and Executive Vice
President of Public Policy at Travelers. “With this year’s National
Hurricane Center
forecast calling for up to four major hurricanes,
preparation is key, as it only takes one storm to devastate an entire

In addition to preparing existing structures before a storm, it is
critical to design newly constructed homes and buildings with up-to-date
building codes to ensure resilience. The Insurance Institute for
Business & Home Safety (IBHS) ranked North Carolina seventh in its 2018
Rating the States
report, which assessed the progress of 18
hurricane-prone coastal states in strengthening their residential
building code systems. The report indicated that North Carolina’s
building code system was less thorough than it was in 2015 and
identified opportunities for improvement.

“Just as it’s important for communities to understand their risks and
plan accordingly, local leaders must also make smart decisions regarding
zoning laws and building codes,” said Natalie Enclade, Director of
Individual and Community Preparedness at the Federal Emergency
Management Agency, who will deliver the session’s keynote address. “This
can reduce the number of structures in the storm’s path and provide
greater resilience for the buildings and infrastructure that are already
there. I encourage everyone to create a culture of preparedness and to
take steps now to protect families, homes, businesses and other valuable

This event is being held in collaboration with the Small Business and
Technology Development Center, Independent Insurance Agents of North
Carolina, East Carolina University College of Business Risk Management
and Insurance Program, and IBHS. Jessica Kearney, Second Vice President
of the Travelers Institute, will moderate a panel discussion on
community safety and resilience strategies with the following industry

  • Perry Bird, Director, Eastern Region, Rebuilding Together
  • Elise Montanari, Vice President, Personal Insurance Analytics,
  • Gina Schwitzgebel, CEO, General Manager, North Carolina Joint
    Underwriting Association and North Carolina Insurance Underwriting
  • Alister Watt, Chief Product Officer, IBHS

At the event, the Travelers Foundation will honor Rebuilding
Together, Inc.
with the Travelers Excellence in Community Resilience
Award of $100,000. Rebuilding Together is a nonprofit organization with
over 30 years of experience in home and community rehabilitation,
preservation and revitalization. The award will support the launch of
the organization’s Safe and Healthy Housing Disaster Recovery training
program, which will educate communities about the essentials of
effectively restoring homes after disasters.

“We’re focused on providing long-term support to families in the wake of
a catastrophe, helping them rebuild their lives, homes and communities,”
said Caroline Blakely, President and Chief Executive Officer of
Rebuilding Together. “We’re grateful to Travelers for this award, which
will enable us to expand our work and launch our disaster response
training program as well as bring awareness to the importance of having
a strong disaster recovery plan.”

The Travelers Foundation gives the Travelers Excellence in Community
Resilience Award annually to an organization that demonstrates
leadership in addressing community resilience. The 2020 application will
open later this year.

For more information on the Travelers Institute and preparing for
hurricane season, please visit

About the Travelers Institute
The Travelers
, the public policy division of The Travelers Companies,
Inc., engages in discussion and analysis of public policy topics of
importance to the insurance marketplace and to the financial services
industry more broadly. The Travelers Institute draws upon the industry
expertise of Travelers’ senior management, as well as the technical
expertise of many of Travelers’ underwriters, risk managers and other
experts, to provide information, analysis and solutions to public
policymakers and regulators. Travelers is a leading provider of property
casualty insurance for auto,
and business.
For more information, visit


Sperry Mylott, 860.277.5075
[email protected]