13 Oct BPC Action Applauds Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill to Create a National Disaster Safety Board in Infrastructure
BPC Action supports the bipartisan Disaster Learning and Life Saving Act of 2020 introduced by Sens. Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) in the Senate, and by Reps. Katie Porter (D-CA) and Garret Graves (R-LA) in the House. This bill would create an independent National Disaster Safety Board, tasked with providing unbiased after-action assessments of deadly disasters.
Every year millions of Americans’ lives are upended by increasingly catastrophic weather events and natural disasters. In fact, in just the last five years, the United States has experienced 69 weather and climate disasters where the overall damage costs reached or exceeded $1 billion—costing about $532 billion in total and resulting in 3,862 fatalities. From the deadly 2017 Atlantic hurricane and Western wildfire seasons to the historic flooding in the Midwest in 2019, disasters have been particularly destructive in the last few years, setting records for all the wrong reasons.
The Disaster Learning and Life Saving Act, drafted with input from members of BPC’s Task Force on Disaster Response Reform, would address the underlying causes behind the loss of life and major property damage that disasters leave. With a new National Disaster Safety Board, the bill would fill a gap that currently exists today in the execution, standardization, dissemination, and implementation of after-action reviews and investigations, insulating needed fact-finding from political pressure and leading to the development of best practices.
BPC Action looks forward to working with Congress to pass this important bill to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of federal disaster assistance programs and ultimately save lives.