Curbelo and Sires Introduce Disaster Mitigation Bill

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Washington, May 10, 2016 | comments

Washington, D.C.—Today, Reps. Carlos Curbelo (FL-26) and Albio Sires (NJ-08) introduced H.R. 5177, the National Mitigation Investment Act of 2016 (NMIA).

The National Mitigation Investment Act of 2016 works to alleviate losses to residential and commercial property following a natural disaster through pre-disaster preventative measures.  It would provide incentives for the adoption and active enforcement of state building codes. It would also amend the Robert Safford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance act to allow the president to increase mitigation assistance following a natural disaster by 4% of the estimated aggregate amount if a state is enforcing building codes. Additionally, H.R. 5177 would encourage states to require that local governments use a current version of a nationally applicable model building code that addresses natural hazards as a basis for design and construction. Finally, NMIA would direct the FEMA Administration to establish a pilot program to award grants to state and local governments to encourage the adoption and enforcement of nationally recognized building codes.

“The residents of both Florida and New Jersey have had to rebuild communities after the devastating effects of catastrophic natural disasters. Returning to a life of normalcy is not only tremendously difficult, but can take multiple years. Furthermore, chronic tidal flooding poses a significant threat to real estate along our waterfront communities.  This undoubtedly affects insurance rates, property values, clean water supplies, and general public welfare. The National Mitigation Investment Act would help to alleviate the burdens experienced post-natural disaster through pre-emptive methods by encouraging state and local governments to adhere to nationally recognized building codes. I thank Rep. Sires for being my fellow co-lead on this bill—it’s important that we put measures in place to protect the future stability of our nation," said Rep. Curbelo.

“Superstorm Sandy, like other storms around the country, exposed just how vulnerable our infrastructure is. As these natural disasters continue to occur more frequently, it is time to apply the lessons learned to prevent similar destruction from occurring in the future,” said Rep. Sires. “The National Mitigation Investment Act will aid communities in implementing pre-disaster mitigation tools to avert further crisis.”

To read H.R. 5177 in its entirety, please click here.

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