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.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.