Barletta Introduces Major Disaster Reform Bill

Nov 28, 2017
Press Release
The Bill Lays Out Long Term Vision for Federal Disaster Response and Recovery
WASHINGTON – Today Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) introduced H.R. 4460, the Disaster Recovery Reform Act (DRRA) of 2017, which would reform disaster assistance by prioritizing investment in mitigation infrastructure when recovering from disasters.  In 2017, more than 4.7 million Americans registered for disaster aid, requiring over $50 billion in additional federal disaster recovery funding.  Barletta’s bill seeks to find a new structure to the disaster relief system by ensuring dollars go towards mitigation investment before disaster strikes, which will save taxpayer dollars, and most importantly, lives.
“After spending tens of billions on disasters in 2017, America needs a better system to ensure the effective use of taxpayer dollars,” Barletta said.  “Even conservative estimates have shown that for every $1 we spend on mitigation, we can save between $4 and $8 in avoided disaster recovery costs.  Focusing on mitigation will help disaster prone communities across the nation build better and build smarter.  It’s time to stop asking ‘what now?’ right after a catastrophe, and focus on ‘what’s next?’ to prepare for future disasters.  The Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2017 provides improvements that will do just that by making mitigation a priority.”
The DRRA makes critical reforms to FEMA’s disaster response and recovery programs that will help our communities better prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate against disasters of all kinds. 

In particular, the DRRA increases the federal emphasis on pre-disaster planning and mitigation, which will reduce the future loss of life and the rising costs of disasters throughout America.  Furthermore, the DRRA incentivizes building and rebuilding better and smarter to facilitate speedy recovery efforts whenever and wherever disaster does strike.

Mitigation can encompass a wide variety of activities, including proactive preparation and planning, elevating or moving structures prone to flooding, and hardening structures to mitigate effects of hurricanes or earthquakes.
More information about the DRRA can be found online HERE.
The Committee is scheduled to mark up the Disaster Recover Reform Act on Thursday, November 30.  More information about the markup is available HERE.