WASHINGTON, D.C. – The BuildStrong Coalition applauds Congressman Jeff Denham (CA-10) for speaking out in support of the inclusion of strong disaster mitigation reforms, including building codes, in the forthcoming Congressional disaster relief funding bill. The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday passed a $36.5 billion supplemental spending bill which will go a long way in helping recovery efforts for recent hurricanes and wildfires in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, California, and elsewhere in the Gulf and Southeast. However, Denham’s remarks on the House floor highlight the importance of incorporating proactive measures that mitigate the effects of future disasters in the next iteration of relief legislation, which will likely be introduced in the coming months.

 

“While some of our states have building codes and are addressing the impacts so [there won’t be this devastation in the future], we need to make sure that these reforms are passed in this coming bill as well,” Denham said while addressing the chamber.

“The BuildStrong Coalition supports the statements made by Congressman Jeff Denham and encourages the inclusion of preventative measures in future legislation that would save both lives and taxpayer dollars,” said BuildStrong Chairman Jimi Grande.

Research has repeatedly demonstrated that every $1 invested pre-disaster saves $3-4 post-disaster. The BuildStrong Coalition National Mitigation Investment Agenda leverages this fact and outlines several important changes to the federal disaster investment strategy that are designed to accomplish this objective. Core tenets include:

  • Creating a federal incentive for states to invest proactively. This would be accomplished by providing FEMA with the discretion to lower the federal cost share for future disasters for states and communities that have failed to take FEMA-approved actions to reduce future disaster costs and losses.
  • Establishing a National Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. The program would award funding to states to develop, implement, and enforce an approved statewide building code and other cost-effective mitigation activities. Knowing the proven cost-saving power of pre-disaster mitigation, this program would be funded by shifting a percentage of the money appropriated to the Disaster Relief Fund to be invested proactively, ahead of the disaster.

The BuildStrong Coalition is a group of firefighters, emergency responders, insurers, engineers, architects, contractors and manufacturers, as well as consumer organizations, code specialists, and many others committed to building a more resilient America. Additional information about these provisions and other methods for saving lives and taxpayer dollars are available at buildstrongamerica.com.