U.S. Government Affairs

NCSL State Policy Considerations for Disaster Risk and Resilience

  • 1.  NCSL State Policy Considerations for Disaster Risk and Resilience

    Posted 12-04-2023 09:54
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    WASHINGTON, D.C. - A new report released today by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) offers state lawmakers a road map to help them navigate the unpredictable nature of disasters such as extreme drought, wildfires, flooding and heat.

    The report, "State Policy Considerations for Disaster Risk and Resilience," was created with input from NCSL's State Policy and Practices Legislative Cohort, a bipartisan group of lawmakers from 17 states, and with support from Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). The report highlights the changing approach to disaster management through policies that emphasize hazard mitigation, infrastructure resilience and centralized planning.

    The report also highlights policy strategies states have at their disposal, including: 

    • Building on federal funding streams to enhance and expand mitigation and resilience projects. States can support their own disaster management and resilience activities via innovative funding mechanisms such as bonds, infrastructure banks and revolving loan funds. 
    • Offering tax credits, rebates or other incentives to help accelerate the transition to more resilient infrastructure and to shore up protections against future disasters. 
    • Strengthening frameworks to support a whole-of-government approach and promoting collaboration among federal, state, territorial, tribal and local government.
    • Creating centralized planning functions through the establishment of a state resilience office or chief resilience officer position.

    In addition, the report includes a federal resilience funding chart, which provides a comprehensive summary of federal programs available to states and local government entities.  

    "This report is the result of a yearlong collaboration between state lawmakers, NCSL and EDF. It underscores the opportunities for states to strategically maximize federal resources, strengthen collaborations across all levels of government and use the wide spectrum of tools available to build more resilient communities nationwide," says Kim Tyrrell, associate director for NCSL's Environment, Energy and Transportation Program.

    "With increasing impacts from climate disasters, it is essential that legislative leaders advance policies and funding that effectively build resilience across all aspects of state government," says Dr. Natalie Snider, associate vice president of EDF's Climate Resilient Coasts & Watersheds program. "We can no longer rely on federal disaster response and must build a holistic approach at the state level. We hope lawmakers will look toward this collaborative recommendation report to find examples from their neighboring states to implement in their own states."

    Download the full report here

    Christian Cunnie
    Director of Emergency Management
    Suffolk University
    South Boston MA
    (781) 626-3942