BuildStrong Executive Director to Congress: Time to “Create a Resilient America” is Now

WASHINGTON, D.C. – BuildStrong Coalition Executive Director Pamela Williams is set to testify before Members of the U.S. House of Representatives today, where she will call on Congress to “create a Resilient America” as part of the federal infrastructure overhaul this summer. Williams’ testimony will take place during the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Recovery’s hearing on threats posed by climate change to emergency preparedness.

Williams will outline for committee members the Coalition’s recommended policy guidelines for increasing home, community, and infrastructure resilience in the face of rising disasters in the United States. According to her testimony:

“Mitigation saves lives, property, and taxpayer money. Mitigation also saves the environment. But the federal resources to help build state and local capacity and fund risk-reducing, cost-effective mitigation projects that harden critical lifeline infrastructure and help individuals invest in residential resilience are woefully inadequate. FEMA and other Federal Agencies need more tools to help impacted communities recover smarter and stronger and end the cycle of build, damage, rebuild.”

BuildStrong was instrumental in the formation of the Disaster Recovery Reform Act, which ushered in the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Program that provides pre-disaster mitigation project grants for states, communities, tribes, and territories. The Biden Administration recently announced $1 billion in funding for the program for 2021. At the start of what will likely prove to be another active Atlantic hurricane season, BuildStrong is urging congressional leaders to take full advantage of the program to protect the nation’s homes, businesses, and communities.

Williams will appear alongside entertainer and scientist Bill Nye, Virginia Department of Emergency Management State Coordinator Curtis Brown, and Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow Alice C. Hill at the hearing. To follow along, stream the virtual hearing here.

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