As the eastern United States continues to recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, Congress is working on a bill that would provide critical technical assistance to prepare for and respond to extreme weather events. Today, Senators John Kerry, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Frank R. Lautenberg introduced the STRONG Act, which builds upon existing efforts to provide state and local planners with tools and information needed to improve resiliency to extreme weather. The proposed bill will also help optimize government resources and funding by coordinating federal efforts.
Over the last two years, the U.S. has experienced twice the average frequency of record extremes in temperature, precipitation, drought, and tropical cyclones (NOAA). And the price tag from Sandy seems to keep rising. With the increasing frequency of extreme weather events, legislation that bolsters community and economic resilience will become even more imperative. By providing cities and states with the necessary tools and information to improve resilience measures, communities can begin to prepare for such disasters and reduce infrastructure damages. According to the Multihazard Mitigation Council, every dollar spent on post-disaster hazard mitigation saves society an average of $4. And when we plan it right in the first place the savings can be much higher.
The STRONG Act will help equip and empower state and local decision-makers to enhance resiliency to extreme weather events. By providing a one-stop-shop for information, data and guidance on best practices, the STRONG Act will help communities protect critical economic infrastructure, ensure business continuity and stay ahead of the storm.
The Center for Clean Air Policy supports the STRONG Act and its efforts to bolster resiliency to extreme weather events. CCAP’s own urban adaptation efforts aim to help cities and companies enhance physical, economic, and social resilience in the face of severe weather trends. The STRONG Act is a complementary and critical step in the right direction to enhance preparedness for severe weather events.