Importantly, the federal government and Congress should evaluate the current ad hoc system of disaster assistance to identify financial incentives that would encourage pre-event planning and preparedness. The recurrent process of post-event funding of recovery should be augmented with conditions and incentives for proper rebuilding, the purchase of property prone to repetitive loss and replacement of natural habitats that provide local protection.
Federal agencies such as NOAA and NASA should be well funded for remote and terrestrial sensing and research on weather and climate as both the private and public sectors are dependent on their risk assessment and data.
Nature is a valuable asset. If we respect its temper, we can be better prepared to withstand the devastating impacts of extreme weather and more resilient in recovery.
Frank W. Nutter is president of the Reinsurance Association of America.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.