Mississippi has been taking heat for years for having no mandated statewide building code. As recently as 2012, the state ranked dead last in a survey of coastal state building code practices published by the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS), an insurance industry think tank (see: "Mississippi ranks last in building codes study of hurricane-prone states," by George Altman). With the exception of a few coastal municipalities, the group reported, the state had "no statewide code, no mandatory enforcement, no programs or requirements for inspectors, and very few licensing requirements."

Now, Mississippi is taking action. Governor Phil Bryant this month signed a law requiring every county or city to adopt one of the three most recent versions of the International Building Code (IBC), according to a report in the Insurance Journal (see: "Mississippi Enacts First Statewide Building Code Law," by Michael Adams). The insurance industry has been pushing Mississippi to toughen up its code enforcement for years — as has the state's insurance commissioner, Mike Chaney.