SmarterSafer.org Praises Chairman Thompson’s Efforts to Encourage Americans to Strengthen Their Homes from Catastrophe through Sound Mitigation Policies

(Washington, DC) – SmarterSafer.org today praised House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) for unveiling new legislation aimed at helping Americans strengthen their homes through stronger mitigation policy incentives, rather than creating a national hurricane bailout fund.   The group often refers to the study by the National Institute of Building Sciences that contends that for every dollar spent on mitigation, approximately four dollars are saved in reduced losses.

“Chairman Thompson’s bills would help protect people and their property from the risks of stronger hurricanes, flooding and sea level rise,” said Ed Hopkins, Director of Sierra Club’s Environmental Quality Program.  “By contrast, long experience with the flood insurance program has shown that federally-subsidized insurance does not reduce risk and can lead to more development in higher-risk areas.”

“Risk-based, private market insurance rates provide the single best support for mitigation. In the short term, however, we need to do something about the people who, largely as a result of misguided government policies, have ended up living in disaster-prone areas. As transition measures, approaches like these are surely better than continuing with hugely expensive policies that endanger lives and destroy the environment.” – Eli Lehrer, Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute.

“The science is increasingly clear. The nation must thoughtfully prepare for the impacts of more intense storms, sea-level rise and other damaging impacts of global warming. The National Wildlife Federation strongly appreciates Congressman Bennie Thompson’s efforts to focus the nation on actions we can take to better protect and strengthen our homes and businesses, while at the same time redirecting development away from high-risk and often environmentally-sensitive areas.  Such areas often serve to benefit public recreation, support wildlife and other valuable uses, while also safely absorbing floods and buffering impacts of major storms.” – David Conrad, Senior Water Resources Specialist, National Wildlife Federation.

SmarterSafer.org is a fast-growing national coalition made up of a diverse set of voices united to support environmentally-responsible, fiscally-sound approaches that promote public safety.   It strongly opposes legislative proposals that encourage people to build homes in hurricane-prone, environmentally-sensitive areas, such as by creating new programs that directly or indirectly subsidize homeowner’s insurance.  The Coalition supports smarter, more effective policies to help people in need, promote disaster safety and preparedness, and foster sounder environmental stewardship of our fragile coastal ecosytems.

To learn more about the Coalition and its members, or to access information and research studies about the legislation, visit www.smartersafer.org.