Disaster Resilience: Actions Are Underway, but Federal Fiscal Exposure Highlights the Need for Continued Attention to Longstanding Challenges, Statement of Chris Currie, Acting Director, Homeland Security and Justice, Testimony Before the Subcommittee on Emergency Management, Intergovernmental Relations, and the District of Columbia: Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; U.S. Senate   [open pdf - 221KB]

From the Highlights: "Multiple factors including increased disaster declarations, climate change effects, and insufficient premiums under the National Flood Insurance Program increase federal fiscal exposure to severe weather events. Managing fiscal exposure from climate change and the National Flood Insurance Program are both on GAO's [Government Accountability Office] High Risk list. GAO has previously reported that building resilience to protect against future damage is one strategy to help limit fiscal exposure. However, in prior reports GAO also identified multiple challenges to doing so. Responsibility for actions that enhance resilience rests largely outside the federal government, so nonfederal entities also play a key role. This testimony discusses (1) resilience-building challenges GAO has previously identified; (2) federal efforts to facilitate resilience-building as part of Hurricane Sandy recovery; and (3) examples of nonfederal efforts to incentivize resilience building. This testimony is based on previous GAO reports issued from 1998 through 2014 related to hazard mitigation, climate change, flood insurance, and preliminary observations from GAO's ongoing work for this committee on federal resilience efforts related to the Sandy recovery. For the ongoing work, GAO reviewed documents such as the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Strategy and a 2012 National Academies study on building resilience. GAO also interviewed officials from FEMA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)."

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