A major natural disaster may as terrifying as a terrorist attack. There have always been hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, volcanoes, floods, wildfires and droughts, but it seems the frequency and intensity of these events are increasing. Since 2011, China, the United States, the Philippines, India and Indonesia have been the top 5 countries most frequently hit by natural disasters. Between 1980 and 2010, our 10 costliest natural disasters were responsible for more than 12,000 deaths and $500 billion in damages. Since 1980, there have been 144 of these billion-dollar events with total damages exceeding $1 trillion. Hurricane Katrina claimed the lives of 1,833 New Orleans natives in 2005. Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and the 1994 Northridge earthquake killed 65 and 57 people respectively. In 2008, Hurricane Ike claimed 112 lives in Texas. The devastating 2011 Hackleburg, Tuscaloosa and Joplin tornadoes all occurred within 5 weeks of each other. These EF4, 200 mph twisters, took the lives 233 Americans and caused more than $6 billion in damage. Likewise, the EF4 tornado that hit Oklahoma City, Moore and Newcastle in 2013 flattened an elementary school and killed 90 people including 20 children. This devastating tornado was nearly a mile wide and was in contact with the ground for at least 40 minutes. The 1980 volcanic explosion of Mt St. Helens killed 57 people. Hurricane Sandy, which hit New Jerseyâ€™s shoreline in 2012, took the lives of 286 Americans. In 2012, we experienced 11 natural disasters that each caused at least $1 billion in damage, and 2013 brought 7 more. Scientists predict climate change will increase both the frequency and intensity of these events, and soaring property insurance premiums seem to be confirming this prediction.
H.R.549 – Homeowner Catastrophe Protection Act of 2013
H.R.1669 – Public Housing Disaster Preparedness Act of 2013
H.R.390 – National Emergency Centers Establishment Act
I oppose reforming current disaster aid policy and wish to defeat H.R.549, H.R.1669 and H.R.390
I support providing tax incentives for homeowners and insurance companies to allow them to better prepare for and respond to future natural disasters by: allowing insurance companies to make tax deductible contributions to a tax-exempt policyholder disaster protection fund for the payment of policyholders’ claims arising from catastrophic natural disasters; establishing a tax-exempt Catastrophe Savings Account to help taxpayers pay for catastrophe expenses; allowing a tax credit for 25% of natural disaster mitigation property expenditures made to fortify a taxpayer’s home against catastrophes, and wish to pass H.R.549
I support requiring public housing projects to develop disaster response and relief plans that include: immediate disaster response; protecting the special needs of residents; safe evacuation of residents and staff; supporting short- and long-term relocation of residents; temporarily renting vacant units to local victims of a disaster who are not residents of public housing; prohibiting authorities from evicting residents (with certain exceptions) during a disaster period; protecting and restoring public housing building; listing the condition and location of emergency supplies and equipment; providing information regarding federal, state, and local grant and loan programs including information regarding the insurance policy of the covered PHA and how to file a claim; implementing certain emergency disaster training, and wish to pass H.R.1669
I support establishing at least 6 national emergency centers on military installations to use existing infrastructure to provide: temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families dislocated due to an emergency or major disaster; centralized locations for the training of first responders and the coordination of preparedness, response, and recovery efforts; listing minimum requirements for sites for such centers, including that they be capable of: meeting for an extended period the housing, health, transportation, education, public works, humanitarian, and other transition needs of a large number of individuals affected; being scaled up or down to accommodate major disaster preparedness and response drills, operations, and procedures; housing existing permanent structures necessary to meet training and first responders coordination requirements during non-disaster periods; and hosting the infrastructure necessary to rapidly adjust to temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance needs, and wish to pass H.R.390