Smart Bites for June 4, 2013

 

AS HURRICANE SEASON BEGINS, SMARTERSAFER.ORG URGES CONGRESS TO PASS MITIGATION MEASURES TO PREVENT HIGH COST OF BEING UNPREPARED FOR NATURAL DISASTERS: With the 2013 hurricane season getting underway, SmarterSafer.org is urging Congress to begin work on a legislative strategy to promote mitigation incentives that will minimize the financial impact disasters like Sandy. “Now that hurricane season is here, we should be reminded of the terrible cost of being unprepared for severe storms,” said SmarterSafer.org. “It’s long past time for Congress to pursue a national mitigation strategy. These kinds of measures will help save taxpayers billions of dollars while protecting the environment, property and human lives.” Click here to read more.

SMARTERSAFER.ORG DISCUSSES DISASTER MITIGATION ON MSNBC: Steve Ellis, Vice President of Taxpayers for Commons Sense, tells MSNBC’s Chuck Todd that Congress should oppose a federal insurance backstop that would get the government in the home insurance business rather than the disaster relief business. He said government resources could better be used to encourage mitigation. “We can use the federal funds to encourage communities to make themselves less vulnerable – it can be through a sliding scale – and adopt building codes and have a plan in place.” Click here to watch video.

SUN HERALD EDITORIAL, “BEWARE OF BEACH HOUSE BAILOUT”: In an editorial printed in the Sun Herald in Biloxi, Miss., Steve Ellis, Vice President of Taxpayers for Common Sense, and Steve Ellis, Legislative Director at the National Wildlife Federation, said HR. 1101 would waste taxpayer dollars and do nothing to protect people in harm’s way. “Six months ago, Hurricane Sandy devastated the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast coast and, $60 billion dollars later, taxpayers continue to pay for the storm while communities are left vulnerable to the next storm. Instead of pursuing natural disaster policies that will protect lives and taxpayer dollars, some in Congress are proposing a costly federal insurance backstop that would create a “Beach House Bailout” for wealthy beach homeowners.” Click here to read more.

SMARTERSAFER.ORG URGES SENATE NOT TO MAKE CHANGES TO BIGGERT-WATERS: In a letter to U.S. Senators, SmarterSafer.org urged Congress not to change the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, which passed last year with overwhelming bipartisan support. “Biggert-Waters made needed reforms to NFIP, which is now currently almost $30 billion in debt to U.S. taxpayers. The reforms included better mapping, additional focus on mitigation, and a phase-in to risk based rates for non-primary residences and severe repetitive loss properties. All of these reforms are needed to better protect those in harm’s way, better protect the environment, and better protect U.S. taxpayers.” Click here to read more.

SmarterSafer.org is a national coalition made up of a diverse set of voices united to support environmentally-responsible, fiscally-sound approaches that promote public safety. The Coalition strongly opposes legislative proposals that encourage people to build homes in hurricane-prone, environmentally-sensitive areas by creating new programs that directly or indirectly subsidize their homeowner’s insurance.