The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies today applauded the guidance recently proposed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency that takes a significant step forward in helping communities protect themselves from natural disasters and extreme weather.
FEMA’s proposed guidance for the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities, or BRIC Program, outlines how communities can obtain federal funding for mitigation projects to reduce losses from future natural disasters. The BRIC Program will make potentially billions of dollars available to communities to fund pre-disaster mitigation projects based on a percentage of that year’s federal post-disaster spending. The program will also allow funding to be used for the adoption and enforcement of modern building codes, according to Jimi Grande, senior vice president of government affairs for NAMIC.
“Allowing BRIC funds to be used for building code enforcement is a huge development in strengthening our communities and reducing the losses from extreme weather events,” Grande said. “The best way to help victims of natural disaster and extreme weather is to prevent them from becoming victims in the first place through mitigation. One of the most effective forms of mitigation is to ensure that our homes, schools, and businesses are built to modern building codes.”
Numerous studies have shown that investing in mitigation and more resilient construction reduces losses by multiples of the investment, with estimates as high as $11 in reduced losses for every dollar spent on mitigation efforts. The BRIC program was created by the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018, which began a shift in federal disaster policy to being more focused on proactive, rather than reactive, mitigation measures. NAMIC, along with its partners in the BuildStrong Coalition, strongly supported the DRRA and will continue to work with FEMA on the guidance.
“The FEMA guidance for the BRIC program will help thousands of communities across the country save lives and reduce losses when disaster strikes,” Grande said. “For so long, we have pushed policymakers and the federal government to make the shift to focusing on investing disaster dollars in communities before disasters, and the BRIC program takes a huge step forward in accomplishing this goal.”
Article Posted: 04.13.20
Last Updated: 04.13.20