New Legislation a Major Step Forward on U.S. Disaster Resilience

10/26/21

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The BuildStrong Coalition applauds the introduction of the Resilient AMERICA Act, which provides new resources to enhance community and system resilience in the face of rising natural disasters. The bipartisan bill, introduced by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO), alongside Reps. Dina Titus (D-NV) and Daniel Webster (R-FL), is set to be marked up by the committee on Wednesday, October 27th.

“Resilient AMERICA is a truly comprehensive bill — one that represents a significant and needed next step for mitigation and resilience in this country,” said Jimi Grande, BuildStrong Coalition Chairman. “BuildStrong has been working to better protect homes and communities from natural disasters since its inception, and we’re encouraged to see Members of Congress working in a bipartisan way to address the increasingly severe impact of climate events on all Americans.

Building on previous landmark legislation like 2018’s Disaster Recovery Reform Act, the newly introduced legislation includes numerous provisions geared toward providing communities with additional resources and tools to bolster mitigation and resilience before the next disaster strikes. This includes providing new funding for FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program, creating new resources and incentives for the adoption and enforcement of modern construction standards and building codes, and expanding avenues for the implementation of resilient infrastructure, among others.

“We’re fully supportive of this new effort from Congress, which couldn’t have come at a better point in our current disaster dialogue,” said BuildStrong President Phil Anderson. “It’s been proven time and again that more resources invested up front, before a disaster strikes, saves significant lives, dollars, and livelihoods. The grant programs, incentive structures, infrastructure provisions, and other components of this bill will go a long way toward helping American communities be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to mitigation.”

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