As flood-battered communities recover from hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, they are faced with the difficult challenge of rebuilding stronger in order to withstand the next storm. Estimates suggest the combined costs from all three events could topple $250 billion in damage and economic losses. As lessons are gathered from recovery efforts in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and other impacted states it is critical that the federal government make smart investments in rebuilding that will be lasting and save money in the long run.
Already, flood-related events have cost the U.S. $500 billion since 2000. Congress is poised to provide over $35 billion in supplemental disaster funds, predominantly for hurricane relief, on top of the $15 billion already provided in September. We can no longer afford inaction. As Congress provides money to support rebuilding of structures and infrastructure, it must be delivered under the condition that we rebuild with a watchful eye toward the future.
Fortunately, there is a solution on the table: A flood-ready standard that requires taxpayer-funded infrastructure be built to higher standards if they are in flood-prone areas. A proposal supported by 82 percent of registered voters.
Congress has an opportunity now to reduce taxpayer waste by ensuring we stop rebuilding the same thing twice following disasters. Join fiscal conservatives, engineers, architects, the insurance industry, emergency managers and fellow Americans in asking your Member of Congress to support a stronger flood-ready standard that ensures our communities and infrastructure are able to weather the next storm.
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