Legislation passed by the House today to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration also includes provisions to better enable states and local governments to protect their communities from natural disaster. Those provisions, says the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, should be included in the Senate FAA bill.
“Just weeks away from what experts are expecting will be another busy hurricane season, it’s difficult to imagine a reason not to pass fiscally smart legislation that will save lives and reduce property damage,” said Jimi Grande, senior vice president of government affairs for NAMIC. “In the limited time remaining on the congressional calendar in this election year, the Senate should take advantage of this opportunity to do the right thing and pass these commonsense mitigation-based reforms.”
Under the provisions, which have already passed the House separately as the Disaster Recovery Reform Act, additional money, equal to a percentage of disaster relief authorized by Congress, could be placed in the federal pre-disaster mitigation fund. This fund would be used to help state and local governments finance projects that would strengthen their communities and reduce potential losses from natural disasters, including by funding stronger building code enforcement. Recent studies have found that every dollar invested in mitigation and more resilient construction can save up to $8 in reduced losses.
“As a nation, we will always provide for those who’ve been devastated by natural disasters,” Grande said. “But the best thing we can do for them, and for all Americans, is to better protect them and their communities before the next storm. Mitigation and stronger construction are the most effective and most cost-efficient ways to deal with increasingly severe storms and other catastrophes. NAMIC applauds the House for recognizing that, and we strongly urge the Senate to do the same by passing the disaster mitigation provisions when reauthorizing the FAA.”