Why States Don't Do More to Mitigate Disasters
Recently, NRMCA state and local government affairs professionals met with a homebuilder group to discuss implementing an optional appendix for resilient construction into a particular state’s building code. The homebuilders expressed concern that resiliency should not be mandated and that even an optional implementation would be seen as a slippery slope. Information was presented from Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) that would grant the state up to 75% of implementation costs and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG) could be used to completely offset the other 25%, making it a ZERO dollar cost option to taxpayers.
When coupled with incentivizing the appendix with a tax credit and/or an insurance rebate like those in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and North Carolina, one wonders why there would be such an objection to even making the appendix an option (if you want to do it, here’s how). This would create a win-win scenario for the state and the building industry that in this case are poster children for hazard mitigation. Data was also presented from the National Institute of Building Science’s Multihazard Mitigation Council that shows that for every $1 spent on disaster mitigation, society saves $4. And a recent Bloomberg Media editorial asks a similar question, begging the question, "Why aren’t states doing whatever it takes to make sure buildings and residents are safer?"
Build With Strength, a coalition led by the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, is addressing this issue in many states and cities with both a public affairs campaign and a robust advocacy effort. To learn more about how NRMCA can assist in mitigating disasters and hazards in your state, please contact John Loyer at 703-675-7603 or firstname.lastname@example.org.