The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies today applauded the inclusion of mitigation-focused policies in the Trump administration’s FY 2021 budget proposal to better protect the nation’s homes and communities from natural disasters.
“The president’s budget offers new ideas to help make American homes and businesses more resilient to natural disasters and funding to continue moving federal disaster policy toward preventing losses before disaster strikes,” said Jimi Grande, senior vice president of government affairs for NAMIC.
Grande pointed to the proposed creation of a competitive, all-hazards grant program through which the Federal Emergency Management Agency could fill gaps not being adequately addressed through existing preparedness grant programs. Once those areas of need are identified, FEMA would award funding to address emerging natural hazards and evolving terrorism threats.
“We can’t predict the future, but numerous studies have shown that investing in mitigation and more resilient construction will more than pay for itself, saving as much as $11 for every dollar spent,” Grande said. “This makes it all the more important to seek out areas that have been overlooked and try to address them.”
The budget would also provide additional funding for the hiring of more subject matter experts, economists, and engineering staff needed to ensure successful implementation of the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities Program, which was created as a result of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act. The BRIC program allows the president to place an amount equal to 6 percent of annual disaster spending into a new national pre-disaster mitigation account, providing new resources for states and communities to invest in preventive measures. Importantly, BRIC funds can be used towards building code development and enforcement. NAMIC has been working to encourage FEMA to implement the new BRIC program and establish resilience criteria for states to meet, including the adoption and enforcement of modern building codes, in order to be eligible for the new funds.
“NAMIC has long argued for our government to break the cycle of waiting and rebuilding when it comes to natural disasters,” Grande said. “By giving states and communities all over the nation new tools to mitigate against the effects of flooding, wildfires, wind, and other perils, the BRIC program will have a profound impact on the resilience of America.”
The budget would also provide funding to raise awareness at the state and local levels of the importance of building with modern building codes and provide stakeholders with additional tools to assist in promoting the use and enforcement of modern codes.
Article Posted: 02.18.20
Last Updated: 02.18.20