Code Council, NEMA and Partners Identify Recommendations for Effective National Mitigation Effort
The National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the assistance of numerous other organizations including the International Code Council have released a white paper titled “Recommendations for an Effective National Mitigation Effort.” It outlines the importance of mitigation efforts aimed at building disaster resiliency across the nation.
The release of the white paper comes at a time where the threat of flooding, tornados, hurricanes, and other disasters weigh heavily on economically challenged states and localities across the country. While mitigation initiatives can come with hefty, short‐term price tags, the long‐term effects of successful mitigation plans and projects can prove to be crucial investments for the safety and resiliency of any community. Natural and man‐made disasters can happen anywhere and at any time, making the effort to increase attention to all‐hazards mitigation efforts essential to national preparedness.
“Construction codes are an integral part of mitigation aimed at building disaster resiliency, but in too many communities there simply aren’t enough resources for building safety,” said Code Council CEO Richard P. Weiland. “ ‘Recommendations for an Effective National Mitigation Effort’ is a tool we support and need to improve mitigation. It underscores the importance of legislation being considered in the U.S. Senate that would provide a federal grant program to assist communities across the country as they adopt and administer construction safety codes that protect property and the public.”
“Mitigation is the least visible, but perhaps the most important concept that can be used to protect communities from disasters. Mitigation cannot completely eliminate the risk of disasters, but the process of identifying hazards should lead to effective, community‐supported measures that can save lives, lower the overall cost of a disaster, and makes communities more resilient,” said James Mullen, Director of the Washington State Emergency Management Division and the NEMA Mitigation Committee chair. “That so many professional associations worked to develop this paper is a testament to their conviction that all‐hazards mitigation is essential to effective national preparedness.”
The paper originated from a meeting held in January that brought together partner organizations from many different sectors concerned with the issues surrounding mitigation benefits and challenges. The project was funded through a cooperative agreement established between NEMA and FEMA in the hope of facilitating mitigation dialogue and establishing relationships between those in the mitigation community.
“NEMA appreciates the efforts of FEMA and the other partner organizations involved in this white paper for their continued commitment to mitigation and their willingness to lend their time and expertise to this endeavor. We hope that as the message of the white paper is discussed and analyzed, attention is also focused on the enormous amount of work ahead as we continue to strengthen the mitigation component of emergency management,” said NEMA President Nancy Dragani. Dragani also serves as the Executive Director of Ohio’s State Emergency Management Agency.
The paper is available on the Code Council’s website: www.iccsafe.org/NME.
Associations supporting the white paper are:
- American Public Works Association
- American Society of Civil Engineers
- Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers
- Association of State Flood Plain Managers
- Central United States Earthquake Consortium
- Federal Emergency Management Agency
- Institute for Building Technology and Safety
- Institute for Business and Home Safety
- International Association of Emergency Managers
- International City/County Management Association
- International Code Council
- National Association of Counties
- National Emergency Management Association
- Reinsurance Association of America
- Western States Seismic Policy Council
- US Chamber of Commerce
The International Code Council, a membership association dedicated to building safety, fire prevention and energy efficiency, develops the codes used to construct residential and commercial buildings, including homes and schools. Most U.S. cities, counties and states choose the International Codes, building safety codes developed by the International Code Council.