The Reinsurance Association of America (RAA) has voiced its support for the introduction of The Community Disaster Resilience Zones (CDRZ) Act of 2022, which aims to improve the climate and natural hazard resilience in vulnerable communities.
The bipartisan legislation will effectively amend the Stafford Act to establish a statutory structure to identify and designate CDRZ communities that are both most in need and at risk to natural hazards such as, hurricanes, tornados, riverine and coastal flooding, and wildfire, to increase public and private sector investments to help improve resilience, including affordable housing and infrastructure resilience for these communities.
The bill has three objectives. Firstly, it aims to amend the Stafford Act by adding a requirement that the U.S Federal Emergency Market Agency (FEMA), maintain and update the National Risk Index and use that dataset to identify and designate CDRZ communities which are most in need and at risk to natural hazards.
Secondly, it aims to authorize the President to provide CDRZ-designated communities with assistance and funding for pre-disaster mitigation planning and projects to increase resilience against the identified hazards, and lastly, it aims to help prioritize and attract additional public and private sector funding for resilience projects in, or primarily benefitting CDRZ-designated communities.
President of the RAA, Frank Nutter applauded the introduction of the legislation, as he added: “This legislation is particularly important for disadvantaged communities that face significant climate and natural hazard risk and challenges in accessing pre-disaster mitigation funding.
“A guiding principle of the Federal government’s natural disaster policy should be to protect American families, businesses and communities, and taxpayers by managing the nation’s escalating climate and natural disaster risks by reducing those risks over the long-term. We can do that by enacting common-sense resilience legislation which the CDRZ Act proposes.”
In addition, Nutter also applauded the sponsors of the legislation: “I commend Chairman Peters and Ranking Member Portman for their bipartisan leadership and legislation to help communities across our country that are the most in need and most at risk from natural disasters.”