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.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.