Washington, DC – February 24, 2021 – The SmarterSafer Coalition issued the following statement on pre-disaster mitigation and climate change preparedness priorities following written testimony submitted by request of the House Transportation and Infrastructure’s Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee regarding the hearing on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) operational processes and 2022 priorities:
“There is a recognized link between climate change and natural disasters, yet the United States is years away from making meaningful strides in climate resilience and preparedness. Immediate action must be taken by FEMA, other Executive Branch agencies, and lawmakers to better ensure that individuals and communities are better able to withstand natural catastrophes.
The SmarterSafer Coalition strongly supports Risk Rating 2.0 and the modernization of our standards and strategies to better prioritize flood risk management and keep FEMA on a sustainable path moving forward. With durability and longevity in mind, we can ensure more resilient communities. SmarterSafer also supports FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program, as it is crucial in the implementation of pre-disaster mitigation, and calls on Congress to take swift action in support of the program in light of its surmounting need.
While individual and localized decisions have the potential to make and promote individual safety, comprehensive and modernized federal policy is essential for both pre-disaster mitigation and more effective post-disaster recovery. We urge FEMA to press forward with policy and programmatic changes that will better prepare communities across the nation for catastrophes that appear to be growing in frequency and severity. Working together, across branches of government and party lines, we can establish effective and equitable solutions that will simultaneously stimulate economic growth, protect the environment, provide security for our communities, and long-term savings for taxpayers.”
Read the full testimony here.
SmarterSafer is a national coalition made up of a diverse chorus of voices united in favor of environmentally responsible, fiscally sound approaches to natural catastrophe policy that promote public safety. SmarterSafer members include taxpayer advocates, environmental groups, insurance interests, housing organizations, and mitigation advocates.