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SMARTERSAFER URGES CONGRESS TO REJECT PROPOSED WHITE HOUSE CUTS TO DISASTER ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

By LILY WILSON

On Thursday, SmarterSafer, a national coalition of taxpayer advocates, environmental groups, insurance interests, housing organizations and mitigation advocates, urged Congress to oppose the Trump Administration’s proposed spending cuts to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which would undermine the nation’s ability to prepare for and recover from destructive natural disasters. SmarterSafer recently released a proposal that outlines how Congress should improve mitigation efforts and comprehensively reform the National Flood Insurance Program before it expires in September.

“Cutting funds that protect Americans from increasingly severe and often fatal storms is a penny wise and pound foolish strategy that will only put lives, property and taxpayer dollars at risk. Studies show that every dollar FEMA invests in hazard mitigation saves $4 in disaster costs, so lawmakers should reject this shortsighted proposal and invest in measures that minimize damage before a storm takes place. As Congress begins the long budget process and works to reauthorize a key federal disaster policy— the National Flood Insurance Program— we look forward to working with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to improve mitigation strategies that ready the country for future severe storms.”

SmarterSafer.org is a national coalition that is made up of a diverse chorus of voices united in favor of environmentally responsible, fiscally sound approaches to natural catastrophe policy that promote public safety. The coalition believes that the Federal government has a role in encouraging and helping homeowners to undertake mitigation efforts to safeguard their homes against natural disasters.  At the same time, the coalition opposes measures that put people’s lives at risk at the expense of taxpayers.

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