Since 2000, flood-related billion-dollar disasters in the U.S. have accounted for more than $750 billion in losses while claiming lives and devastating communities. These events totaled $268 billion in costs in 2017 alone. The magnitude of flood risk is compounded by the recent D+ grade the American Society of Civil Engineers assigned to our nation’s infrastructure.
Now more than ever, smart investments in infrastructure are needed to break the costly cycle of flood loss and repair. As Congress debates infrastructure proposals, it is critical to consider solutions that encourage more mitigation and reduce flood impacts. This briefing will address both the challenges posed by increased flooding and opportunities to improve how our nation prepares for and rebuilds from natural disasters.
- Senator Jack Reed, Rhode Island In June, Senators Reed (D-RI), Kennedy (R-LA), and Menendez (D-NJ) introduced a self-replenishing revolving loan fund that would provide low-interest loans to communities for pre-disaster mitigation activities such as home elevations above anticipated flood levels, helping property owners to relocate out of harm’s way, and environmental restorations that act as storm buffers.
- Craig Fugate, Former Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency Served as the FEMA Administrator from 2009 to January 2017.
- Brian Pallasch, Director of Government Relations and Infrastructure, American Society of Civil Engineers. Since 2008, Brian Pallasch has managed ASCE’s infrastructure initiatives, including development of the Infrastructure Report Card.
- Jane Gilbert, Chief Resilience Officer of Miami. Jane Gilbert was appointed Miami’s first Chief Resilience Officer in 2016. She leads the City’s resilience strategy development and works in partnership with the City of Miami Beach and Miami-Dade County to develop the region’s first comprehensive Resilience Strategy Plan for Greater Miami and the Beaches.
- Neal Rackleff, Assistant Secretary, Department of Housing and Urban Development. Assistant Secretary Rackleff oversees HUD’s Office of Community Planning and Development, which administers the Community Development Block Grant, including its Disaster Recovery program.