To improve federal agencies’ ability to cope with extreme weather events, Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.) and Rep. Leonard Lance (R-N.J.) have reintroduced the Preparedness and Risk Management for Extreme Weather Patterns Assuring Resilience and Effectiveness (PREPARE) Act this year.
The bill (H.R. 3190) was introduced in July and currently has 18 cosponsors from both sides of the aisle, according to a news release from advocates of the proposal. Cartwright is scheduled to speak at an Oct. 13 news conference in support of the bill.
The new legislation being proposed in Congress seeks to address concerns identified in a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that found the government is at risk from extreme weather on several fronts, including as a property owner and a leading provider of disaster relief.
Over the past four years, the United States has been hit by 42 major weather disasters across 44 states, resulting in 1,286 deaths and $227bn in economic losses. In its two latest High Risk Lists, GAO cited extreme weather as one of the greatest threats to the federal government’s balance sheet.
The bill falls under the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee as well as the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Because the legislation calls for better intra- and interagency planning, it does not require any new spending, according to its supporters.
Key mandates in the bill would:
•Codify an interagency council, which will encourage federal agencies to share best practices and information.
•Create an oversight and governance structure and a process that requires agencies to implement government-wide resilience, preparedness, and risk management priorities.
•Direct the federal government to work with local and State planners to identify regional issues, facilitating the adoption of resilience, preparedness, and risk management best practices.
•Establish a regional coordination plan to ensure greater coordination among the many regional efforts.