Environmental Policy News

Bipartisan Bill to Boost Preparedness for Extreme Weather Events Introduced

US Representative Matt Cartwright (PA-08) introduced the Preparedness and Risk management for Extreme weather Patterns Assuring Resilience and Effectiveness (PREPARE) Act, legislation that would ensure that Americans are prepared for extreme weather events by establishing best practices across the government in order to protect communities while saving taxpayer money.

This bipartisan bill would create an interagency council to provide government-wide recommendations on resilience and readiness for extreme weather, which can help diverse communities across America undertake smart, cost-saving initiatives. It would also strengthen the risk-management priorities of all federal agencies to ensure the entire government is preparing for the increased prevalence of extreme weather events and improve coordination between the federal government, states, and localities to enhance information-sharing and ensure the right steps are taken before such events occur.

“This bill will save taxpayer money, protect communities across the United States, and boost our resilience against natural disasters,” said Rep. Cartwright. “For every dollar we spend on mitigation, we can save six dollars on the averted potential recovery costs after a natural disaster. Most importantly, being better prepared will give our communities greater peace of mind, as we work to stand ready in the face of extreme weather events.”

"National Taxpayers Union applauds Rep. Cartwright for the reintroduction of the PREPARE Act,” said Nick Johns, Senior Manager of Policy & Government Affairs, National Taxpayers Union. “Year after year, federal spending on natural disasters increases and adds to our growing national debt. Since pre-disaster mitigation is proven to drive down post-disaster costs, the bill by Rep. Cartwright will help reduce this fiscal burden. This legislation will require that a whole-of-government approach is taken to assess and mitigate extreme weather-related risks, will improve coordination for intergovernmental disaster response planning, and will ensure our nation's communities are best prepared for the worst impacts of natural disasters."

“The United States is experiencing more harmful impacts from extreme weather than ever,” said Adam M. Nagel, Director of Government Relations, PennFuture. “According to the Fifth National Climate Assessment, the United States experiences, on average, a billion-dollar weather or climate disaster every three weeks. The PREPARE Act, sponsored by Congressman Matthew Cartwright, advances important climate and weather mitigation efforts to help ensure that we are all better prepared to face the threats of an increasingly dangerous climate.”

“We applaud Representative Cartwright and other Congressional leaders for their recognition of the need to improve the federal response to extreme weather events, including floods, wildfires and droughts,” said Adam Schellhammer, Mid-Atlantic Regional Director, American Rivers. “As extreme weather occurs more frequently, communities need reliable solutions that protect people and property as well as river health.”

Co-sponsors in the US House are US Reps. Troy Carter (D-LA-02), Gerald Connolly (D-VA-11), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01), Jenniffer González-Colón (R-PR), Derek Kilmer (D-WA-06), James Moylan (R-GU), Eleanor Norton (D-DC), Mary Peltola (D-AK), Scott Peters (D-CA-50), Jill Tokuda (D-HI-02), Susan Wild (D-PA-07).

This legislation is endorsed by the Alaska Wilderness League, American Bird Conservancy, American Geophysical Union, American Rivers, Citizens' Climate Lobby, Emerald Cities Collaborative, Environmental and Energy Study Institute, Environmental Defense Fund, EPDM Roofing Association, Evangelical Environment Network, Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, International Code Council, National Housing Conference, National Taxpayers Union, National Wildlife Federation, Niskanen Center, Penn Future, R Street, Restore America's Estuaries, Sierra Club, Small Business Majority, Taxpayers for Common Sense, Taxpayers Protection Alliance, The Nature Conservancy, US Green Building Council, and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

The full text of the legislation can be found HERE.

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