November 20, 2023 - Last week, Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) and Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) reintroduced the Natural Disaster Safety Board Act, which would create an investigative body to study natural disasters and implement policies that could help mitigate harm from future wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other disasters.
Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-Calif.)
“Devastating disasters in California, and across the country, put lives at risk and cause billions in damages each year,” said Rep. Porter. “As our climate changes and natural disasters worsen, we need a dedicated agency to review natural disasters and protect Americans from their harms. My bipartisan Natural Disaster Safety Board Act will get answers for disaster victims and give Americans peace of mind that the government is learning necessary lessons for the future.”
“Lowcountry residents are no strangers to natural disasters,” said Rep. Mace. “By creating an independent board dedicated to reviewing and preparing for natural disasters, we can ensure a comprehensive and non-partisan examination of our response to such events. Its recommendations will play a pivotal role in enhancing our ability to keep people safe in the face of future natural disasters. Together, we can build a more resilient Lowcountry that prioritizes the protection and security of our communities.”
In the aftermath of the Maui fire—the deadliest U.S. wildfire in over a century—and worsening storms from coast-to-coast, calls to establish a Natural Disaster Safety Board (NDSB) continue to grow. The NDSB would function as an independent, non-partisan agency, modeled after the National Transportation Safety Board, responsible for studying preparedness and emergency response after natural disasters. The bipartisan bill passed the House in 2022, and companion legislation is led in the Senate by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA).
Throughout her time in Congress, Rep. Porter has made disaster safety a top priority. Earlier this year, she introduced bipartisan legislation that would provide tax relief to disaster victims to account for lost income. Aware of the heightened risk of natural disasters that Californians face, Rep. Porter hosted a town hall focused on disaster safety during her first year in Congress. She has also repeatedly warned her colleagues about the economic costs of climate change. In October, Rep. Porter led a bipartisan letter to home insurance companies to get information amid rising premiums and the withdrawal of insurers from disaster-prone regions.
Source: Congresswoman Katie Porter