2013 Annual Meeting. Disasters: Thinking About the Unthinkable

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1 2013 Annual Meeting Disasters: Thinking About the Unthinkable Moderator: Speakers: Lai Sun Yee, FEMA Preparedness, Washington DC Edward A. Thomas, President Natural Hazard Mitigation Association, Quincy, MA Jo Ann Howard, Jo Ann Howard & Associates, P.C, former Federal Insurance Administrator for the National Flood Insurance Program, Austin, TX Ernie Abbott, FEMA Law Associates, former General Counsel of FEMA, Washington, DC Jordan Fried, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Washington DC (via SKYPE) Glenn Pomeroy, CEO, California Earthquake Authority, Sacramento, CA August 9, 2013 Grand Hyatt San Francisco, CA

2 SPEAKERS Ernest B. Abbott FEMA Law Associates th St., NW Ste 510 Washington, DC Phone: 202/ Fax: Jordan Fried Federal Emergency Management Agency 500 C St SW Washington, DC Phone: Jo Ann Howard Jo Ann Howared & Associates PC 500 C St SW Washington, DC Phone: Glenn Pomeroy California Earthquake Authority 801 K Street Suite 1000 Sacramento, CA Phone: Fax: Edward A. Thomas Edward A. Thomas Esq. LLP 21 Schooner Ln Quincy, MA Phone: Fax: Lai Sun Yee th S. #804 Arlington, VA Phone:

3 2013 ABA Section of State and Local Government Annual Meeting Ernest B. Abbott FEMA and The National Flood Insurance Program August 8-13, 2013 FEMA Law Associates, PLLC 1725 I Street NW Washington, D.C Phone: Fax:

4 Insurance and FEMA Disaster Assistance and Flood Insurance Programs Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act Public Assistance Program Individual and Household Assistance Program Mitigation Programs National Flood Insurance Act, as amended Impacts of Floodplain Management Requirements on Rebuilding and Insurance Premiums Impacts of Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Improvement Act of 2012

5 FEMA Disaster Assistance Programs Warning: Discretionary Program Stafford Act, 305: The Federal Government shall not be liable for any claim based upon the exercise or performance of or the failure to exercise or perform a discretionary function or duty on the part of a Federal agency or an employee of the Federal Government in carrying out the provisions of this Act.

6 FEMA Public Assistance Program Provides Federal grants To state and local governments and certain non profit organizations Of Not less than 75% of the net eligible costs of performing eligible work Eligible Work includes Debris Removal Emergency Work required to save lives, property, public health and safety from Imminent Threats Repair, restoration, reconstruction or replacement of eligible facilities

7 FEMA Public Assistance Program Does Not Provide Assistance: To Private businesses/ for profit entities For increased costs of operations For business interruption losses/economic losses If the losses are insured

8 Eligible Costs: Actual Costs vs Estimated Reimbursements based on actual costs Projects approve scope of work with estimated costs Extensive supervision of expenditures to be sure costs are appropriate for approved work. Approved scope of work? Gold plating? Competitive procurements? Improvements? Cost overruns? In 2000, Congress required FEMA to develop estimation procedure and then provide assistance based on the approved estimates (FEMA didn t)

9 Net Eligible Cost and Improvements FEMA funds rebuilding of facilities per: Design of facility prior to disaster but Consistent with Applicable codes and standards in effect prior to disaster, plus Mitigation measures required by Regional Administrator Section 406 Mitigation

10 Treatment of Insurance in FEMA Public Assistance Program 311: One Bite Rule As a condition of assistance, applicant must insure property for future events Loss from future events not eligible if not insured Exception: if State insurance commissioner certifies that insurance on the property is not reasonably available Note: Issues of aggregate coverage versus coverage of specific properties, insurance pools

11 Treatment of Insurance in FEMA Public Assistance Program 42 USC 5154a: Prohibited Flood Disaster Assistance: For One Bite Rule Cost of flood insurance by definition is reasonable state insurance commissioner cannot certify otherwise If property is in SFHA FEMA must deduct amount that would have been received as insurance proceeds if owner had obtained maximum insurance available under NFIP (This provision applies also to Individual Assistance Programs if assistance had been provided for repair of housing)

12 Treatment of Insurance in FEMA Public Assistance Program 312: Duplication of Benefits Notes: No assistance can be provided for any part of such loss as to which [applicant] has received assistance from insurance An applicant for assistance shall be liable to the United States to the extent that such assistance duplicates benefits available to the person for the same purpose from another source. 1. Beware of settlements of insurance claims that have not considered possibility that FEMA may consider more benefits to be available 2. FEMA generally funds the deductibles in insurance policies

13 Treatment of Insurance in FEMA Public Assistance Program 312: Duplication of Benefits special rule Notes: (b) (3) Effect of partial benefits Receipt of partial benefits for a major disaster or emergency shall not preclude provision of additional Federal assistance for any part of a loss or need for which benefits have not been provided.. 1. In settlements how clear is it that the insurance proceeds are provided for covered losses ineligible for FEMA assistance? 2. If settlements specify what portion covers FEMA eligible damage does it appear that parties are intentionally skewed the allocation?

14 In 2013 Hurricane Sandy Supplemental: Sandy Recovery Improvements Act Congress granted FEMA authority to implement new, flexible procedures for funding grants Can be pilot programs until the agency promulgates implementing regulations. The most important of these procedures are: Permanent Work Alternative Procedures Emergency Work: Debris Removal Alternative Procedures Emergency Protective Measures and Regular Time Pay Hazard Mitigation Reforms Dispute Resolution Pilot Procedures

15 Permanent Work Alternative Procedures Permanent work based on fixed estimates. Permits FEMA to accept certified cost estimates prepared by applicant s licensed engineers. Applicants may request FEMA-funded independent validation of project estimates for permanent repair projects with an estimated federal share of at least $5 million. Allows applicants to use cost savings for activities that reduce future risk from disasters Eliminates reduction in awards previously required by law for applicants who determine that the public welfare would not be best served by restoring a damaged facility to pre-disaster design.

16 14

17 What s Different About Flood Risk? Flooding is most common disaster event Flooding not covered by all risk homeowners insurance Adverse selection: the only purchasers or flood insurance were those who knew they had real flood risk Overconfidence: people assume no flood risk based on personal experience of last 20 years 15

18 National Flood Insurance Program The National Flood Insurance Act 1968 created the NFIP with three critical components: Risk Identification/Assessment: mapping of flood prone areas in communities which joined the NFIP Risk Mitigation: adoption of a set of floodplain management regulations that communities must agree to adopt and enforce as a condition to their participation in the NFIP Insurance: the federal government was authorized to arrange for the sale of federally supported flood insurance in communities which have joined the program. Subsidization of existing properties Actuarial Rates for New Properties Attrition of high risk properties 16

19 The NFIP s Tri-legged Stool 17

20 Total Premium Growth Note surges after 1993,

21 Disappearance of Financial Sustainability Premiums Unaffordable for Many but Not Actuarially Sound Debt before Sandy: $17 billion Debt after Sandy: $26 billion 19

22 Historical Efforts to Remove Subsidized Rates in NFIP 2004 Reform Bill baby steps: Authorized actuarial rates for Certain leased coastal and river properties properties on the river side of a levee that is leased from Federal Government e.g., land purchased by Corps of Engineers when levee was constructed Severe Repetitive Loss Properties but only if owner has refused to elevate/mitigate after being offered a 75% federal grant covering costs 20

23 Removing Subsidized Rates May Reauthorization price for a two month extension: Administrator must implement 25% annual premium increases for residential properties that are not the primary residence of an individual, until the premiums reach actuarial levels 21

24 Removing Subsidized Rates in WOW! Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act Actuarial rates to increase: must cover average loss year including catastrophic loss years. Since 2005 was a catastrophic loss year that equaled all prior losses in history of program, this increase maybe quite significant. 22

25 Removing Subsidized Rates in WOW! Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act Eliminate grandfathering of flood maps premiums to go up to reflect current maps. Previously, if property is continuously insured, only eligibility for Preferred Risk policy is lost if property is moved to higher risk zone. Issue: Construction in accordance with floodplain management criteria 23

26 Removing Subsidized Rates - WOW 3. 25% annual increases until actuarial rates achieved for: Any severe repetitive loss property (even without an offer of mitigation funding) Any property with cumulatively more flood losses than the value of the property Any business property Any property which has incurred substantial damage of 50% or more Any property with an improvement greater than 30% of the value of the property 24

27 Removing Subsidized Rates - WOW 4. Annual increase of 20% of difference between subsidized and actuarial rates achieved for: Any property uninsured on July 6, 2012 Any property purchased after July 6, 2012 Any property with a deliberate lapse in coverage Big impact on current closings of real estate transactions: 20% of difference to actuarial rates can be much higher than a 20% premium increase! 25

28 Removing Subsidized Rates - WOW 5. Deductibles higher for pre-firm properties. Deductibles are higher even if rates are no longer subsidized, e.g. for business properties or residences not primary residences) 26

29 Removing Subsidized Rates Potential for backlash is real Penalties strengthened for banks which fail to enforce mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements Premiums are set to double on many properties. Affordability not considered: FEMA / NAS / Comptroller General to study affordability of flood insurance and costs benefits of federal assistance ( ) The Backlash Begins: DHS Appropriation Act for FY 2014 as passed House June 13: SEC None of the funds made available in this 5 Act may be used to implement, carry out, administer, or 6 enforce section 1308(h) of the National Flood Insurance 7 Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 4015(h)). -- Applies to changes in maps. 27

30 The NFIP s Tri-legged Stool 28

31 Flood Plain Management: Risk Mitigation Federal Role in Floodplain Management is Indirect! Federal Rules require participating Communities to adopt and enforce local ordinances meeting minimum requirements in federal regulations FEMA does not directly enforce land use requirements FEMA oversees community enforcement of FPM ordinances Minimum criteria: community can and is encouraged to adopt more protective standards Minimum criteria apply only to property located in SFHA as shown on effective FEMA map 29

32 Permit System Requirements: The minimum criteria Community Ordinances Must: Require Permits for new and improved construction within SFHA Determine whether structures in the SFHA have been substantially damaged Maintain records of all development permits Ensure owner has obtained all other permits required by local state and federal laws (i.e. endangered species act, historical preservation laws, wetlands permits) 30

33 Building Protection Requirements (Requirements vary depending on type of flood risk data available on map) Community Ordinances Must: Require structures; lowest floor to be elevated above Base Flood Elevation BFE Require new and replacement sanitary sewage systems to be designed to minimize or eliminate flood Require structures and subdivisions to provide adequate flow of and draining of flood waters (filters, vents, breakaway walls, culverts) 31

34 Community Rating System (CRS) FEMA uses its authority to set premiums to create community incentives for greater floodplain management Insurance premium discounts available in communities whose floodplain management programs go beyond the NFIP minimum requirements Began as a FEMA initiative without specific authority later authorized by express provision of statute The statutory language gives FEMA some discretion to consider beneficial environmental uses of floodplain. 32

35 FEMA Enforcement Tools (Remember it s a voluntary program) Inspections/ Community Assistance visits Jawboning technical advice Elimination of CRS discounts (premiums increase) Threat of probation / probation Insurance premiums immediately increase upon probation Threat of suspension/suspension from NFIP Homeowners cannot purchase flood insurance if their community is suspended Limited disaster assistance and other federal grants to communities which are suspended from the program Suspensions are rare! 33

36 Impact of NFIP on Sandy Recovery Many substantially damaged properties are pre-firm subsidized properties The Base Flood Elevation in many areas has been risen substantially Building permits are supposed to be denied unless structure is elevated The cost of elevation is much higher than the $30,000 Increased Cost of Compliance coverage under NFIP (Even if property insured) If rebuilding takes place without elevation, mandatory flood insurance costs will be extraordinarily high Focus on mitigation grants 34

37 2013 ABA Section of State and Local Government Annual Meeting Ernest B. Abbott FEMA and The National Flood Insurance Program August 8-13, 2013 FEMA Law Associates, PLLC 1725 I Street NW Washington, D.C Phone: Fax:

38 August 8, 2013

39

40 $21.6B insured loss $15.3B residential * Insurance industry unsuccessfully sought repeal of mandatory offer law 95% of residential earthquake insurance market stopped selling or severely restricted homeowners coverage * In 2012 dollars

41 Privately financed and publicly managed formed to work with insurance industry, not against it Public instrumentality of the state Not funded by the California state budget and CEA debt is not backed or repaid by the state CEA acts as a regulated insurer and writes a catastrophe policy of earthquake insurance for renters, condo owners, & homeowners

42 Voluntary for insurers facilitates insurers participation in California insurance market Approximately 840,000 policies in force largest EQ insurance provider in U.S. Writes 70% of all California residential EQ insurance policies By law, CEA rates are actuarially sound

43 CEA Governing Board Senate Rules Chair Insurance Commissioner Governor State Treasurer Assembly Speaker Voting member Non voting member

44

45 2013 Financial Structure As of April 2013 Rating Agencies: Require 1 in 500 year capacity Reinsurance: Costs CEA $220(+) Million each year Comprises 2/3 of CEA s overall expenses Absorbs 40% of policyholder premium Participating Insurer Assessments $2.60B Revenue Bonds $0.30B Reinsurance $2.85B $2.0B $0.3B $3.3B Costs borne by consumers: Expensive premium High deductible (15%) CEA Capital $3.75B $4.3B Total $9.9 B

46 Scientists agree: There is a virtual certainty of a 6.7M or greater earthquake in California within the next 30 years. And Yet: Over 90% of all homes have absolutely no insurance protection for earthquake damage. 2/3 of the nation s earthquake risk is in California

47

48 Mitigation Program Goal: Reduce Earthquake Damage to Single Family Dwellings

49 Mitigation Objectives: Develop GUIDELINES for the seismic strengthening of single family dwellings RESEARCH performance of retrofitted dwellings in earthquakes Develop INCENTIVES for retrofit premium discount, financial assistance

50 Typical Raised Foundation New guidelines were needed Foundation Floor supported directly on the foundation Mudsill

51 Typical Raised Foundation New IEBC Chapter A3 Foundation anchors Mudsill Floor anchored to the foundation

52 Typical Raised Foundation Mudsill Foundation Foundation plate

53 Home with Cripple Wall New guidelines were needed Foundation Mudsill Cripple walls Floor supported on cripple (short) wall studs

54 Home with Cripple Wall New IEBC Chapter A3 Foundation Plywood sheathing Plywood sheathing on cripple walls and anchors

55 Home with Cripple Wall

56 Retrofitting Home with Cripple Wall Foundation Mudsill

57 New guidelines required for other structure types Source: Google Maps

58 CEA/FEMA joining forces to create: Comprehensive Guidelines for the Evaluation and Retrofit of Single Family Dwellings (up to 4 units)

59 California Residential Mitigation Program: $25 million currently available $3,000 incentives available for Californians Pilot test launch in September 2 communities Statewide rollout in 2014

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61 $2.0B $0.3B $3.3B $4.3B Projected 2013 CEA Financial Structure Participating Insurer Assessments Revenue Bonds Reinsurance Capital Illustrated One potential structure with diversified risk transfer Participating Insurer Assessments Revenue Bonds Reinsurance Post Event Bonds Capital $2.0B $0.3B $1.8B $1.5B $4.3B Enactment of a federal guarantee to support CEA s post event borrowing power would result in significant increase of capital available for mitigation, education, and more affordable insurance protection Total $9.9 B Total $9.9 B

62 Glenn Pomeroy Chief Executive Officer

63 American Bar Association Disasters: Thinking About the Unthinkable August 8, 2013 Edward A. Thomas Esq. President Natural Hazard Mitigation Association 1

64 Howdy! I appear today in a pro bono presentation on behalf of: The Natural Hazard Mitigation Association This is not and cannot be legal advice; nor does this presentation necessarily represent the views of anyone other than Ed Thomas This presentation based on general principles of law, engineering, policy and emergency management. 2

65 Our Message Disasters are bad, getting worse; will continue to get worse unless we change our development and redevelopment practices quite dramatically; There are multiple paths to reduce misery and suffering include: Insurance Industry efforts State efforts such as California earthquake consequence reduction 3

66 Fundamental Principle: Hazard Mitigation Is Plain Common Sense "Disaster risk reduction is not a luxury. It's an essential insurance policy for a more disaster prone world, and one of the smartest, most cost effective investments we can make in our common future. The benefits of this investment will be calculated not only in dollars saved, but most importantly, in saved lives." Jan Egeland, Former U.N. Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator 4

67 Fundamental Thought A Question for the Group: What is the Best Form of Disaster Relief? 5

68 Key Themes Think broadly to solve our serious problems e.g. sea level rise increasing climate variability uncertainty or, dare I say, climate change We must stop making things worse We need to work with many persons and groups to solve our serious disaster, water resources, and other related issues Right now we reward dangerous behavior But, places like Tulsa, Oklahoma, the Metropolitan Denver area, and other locations are heroically overcoming obstacles and reducing losses 6 6

69 Why Is The Discussion of Mitigation and Climate Adaptation So Difficult? Answer A: Confusing Facts and Claims Difficulty of attribution of particular weather events to climate conditions and change See, e.g., an article in the New York Times Study Finds More of Earth Is Hotter and Says Global Warming Is at Work...a researcher with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who studies the causes of weather extremes, said he (has)...general concern about global warming. But (believes the study exaggerates) the connection between global warming and specific weather extremes. Available at: heat is covering more of the earth astudy says.html?ref=science 7

70 Why Is The Discussion of Climate Change So Difficult? Answer B: Fervent Belief Climate Change is Hooey Or A Plot Some folks sincerely definitely know exactly what Climate Change is a vast left wing conspiracy, involving the government seizure of private property and an attempt through the United Nations to destroy America s private enterprise system and eventually destroy the United States Many of these folks have the power to make or influence community development decisions 8 8

71 Social Science Suggests We Start To Solve Problems With Facts Fact A: Does Nature Cause Disasters? Some Folks Say: Global Warming Sea Level Rise- Causes Harm: Others: Extreme weather increased by global change Others: Synergies of Stresses increasing So Mother Nature to blame? But are Natural Disasters Natural? Dr. Gilbert White Stated What I Believe to be Correct: Floods are Acts of Nature; But Flood Losses Are Largely Acts of Man 9 9

72 The Enemy Is Us! Should we blame Mother Nature or some other force for our devastating flood losses? BIG Role of human engineering, architectural and construction building improperly in areas where natural processes like tsunamis, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, wildfires will foreseeably take place. 10

73 Fact B Who Is Responsible for the Safety and Security of: Your family? Your home? Your community? Your business? Who works at what scale? At the end of the day, who cares most? 11

74 Fact C: Trends in Damages Following Natural Events: Wind, Flood, Earthquake, Wildfire losses are increasing quite dramatically Demographic trends indicate great future challenges More challenges from sea level rise Even more challenges likely from climate change, variability, uncertainty 12 12

75 Flood and Wind Disasters Have Been Increasing For Decades Courtesy of Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. Source: Munich Re 13

76 Disaster Damages Will Continue To Increase Due To Past Development Practices Even if climate stopped changing, we ALREADY have millions of people at risk E.g. Dr. Roger Pielke superimposed models of storms which actually took place on today's land use and occupancy The results are downright scary

77 USA: Coastal Development Miami Beach 2006 Miami Beach 1926 Wendler Collection Joel Gratz

78 USACE Slide courtesy of Pete Rabbon 16

79 All Stakeholders Can Also Contribute to Increased Risk! Initial Risk RISK No Warning/Evacuation Plan Upstream Development Increases Flows Lack of Awareness of Flood Hazard Lack of Flood, Business Interruption, DIC Insurance Critical Facilities Not Protected From Flooding RISK Increase Factors Increased Development Infrastructure Not Properly Designed/Maintained Vastly Increased Residual Risk 1717

80 But There Is Hope! New and Exciting APA and ABA Awareness and Initiatives Improved FEMA Flood Mapping Program Risk MAP The Formation of the National Hazard Mitigation Collaborative Alliance Formation of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Association USACE Silver Jackets Program Numerous organizations in the United States and throughout the world are working on sustainability, climate adaptation & disaster preparedness Recent excellent and even inspirational publications and presentations Media Catching on to some of the reasons disasters are increasing 18

81 CNN Discussion of the 2010 Atlanta Flooding: The Concrete Jungle Before the storm stalled over Atlanta, the metro area had been in a prolonged drought. Jeras, the CNN meteorologist: urbanization and isuburban sprawl also contributed. Instead of soil, too much rainwater ran straight into concrete, and became very fast run off overwhelming rivers and drainage systems. "There used to be a lot more earth and soil to help absorb this stuff," she said. "But the rain really fell on the concrete jungle. 19

82 Exceptional Book Available on Amazon A must read, must have for your library, if you care about floods, or climate variability

83 Participation in Hazards Reduction by Non Hazard Mitigation Centered Groups: Like the Center For Clean Air Policy What does climate resilience look like? Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP) blog adaptation images from around the world. From different scales household to national CCAP's new program and blog: 21

84 The American Planning Association APA's Hazards Planning Research Center (has prepared) a FEMA funded best practice materials showing how hazard mitigation and adaptation plans can be integrated into comprehensive planning efforts at all scales from the neighborhood to the region. This Document Is Available from APA Excellent in My Opinion 22

85 APA Publication Edited by Jim Schwab Hazard Mitigation: Integrating Best Practices into Planning, edited by James Schwab, AICP 23

86 American Bar Association Summary of ABA Resolution 107 E: The following recommendations of the Financial Services Round Table Blue Ribbon Commission on Megacatastrophes are highly desirable loss mitigation suggestions: > State of the art building codes > Cost effective retrofitting > Land use policies that discourage construction posing high risk to personal safety or property loss. > Property tax credits to encourage retrofitting These and related elements of loss mitigation are designed to ultimately bring to market affordable insurance policies with broadened coverages. 24

87 American Bar Association Resolution 114; Adopted by the ABA House of Delegates; February 2011 The American Bar Association has subscribed to the White Paper on Hazard Mitigation prepared by the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) under contract to FEMA In Resolution 114 ABA voted to: a)support hazard mitigation through disaster planning; b) Recognize the role of state and local government; c) Give due regard to property rights d) Legal issues 25

88 Part II How Can We Proceed? Ignoring the confusion surrounding Climate Change or fervently held beliefs about the topic is not going to work We need principled negotiation and outreach to others We need to deliver our message about Safe& Sustainable Development or NAI to other folks, who may not share our beliefs, or even have any sort of affinity with or liking for us in: A) their lingo B) about their concerns, passions, beliefs, fears, and vision 26

89 How To Use Basic Principles To Address The Growing Toll Of Disasters? Business as usual is not working well enough Build bridges links Make more friends and allies many have very little knowledge or strong positive feelings about hazards We need to reach those we may not like: government, civil servants, bureaucrats, and a whole lot more Those who believe things we don t believe! ENGAGE POTENTIAL ROADBLOCKS! 27

90 We Need to Reach Folks Who Normally Do Not Like Or Agree With Us Our message of safety and disaster reduction must be prepared for delivery to many audiences We need to know and understand what they care about, so we can develop a message of safety they will care about 28

91 So, How Do You Know An Audience? Listen Discussion Talk Learn Show you care about what concerns them, so they care about you and your message 29

92 Messaging Many folks who fervently believe Climate Change is hooey or a plot have other beliefs E.g. believe in God, the United States, helping one s neighbor, and the need to love and protect land Believe in reducing the role of government in our lives So How do we get a harm prevention message across to them? 30

93 Faith Based Messaging Stewardship of the Earth Do unto others... Reduce the cost of disasters to our society, save taxpayer dollars Protect the land for future generations Avoid litigation 31

94 Messages To Environmentalists Safe & Sustainable Development protects water quality, ground water, wetlands, and other naturally beneficial values of society Safe & Sustainable Development helps keep stuff out of waterways, protecting threatened and endangered species and ecosystem services at all scales Also avoids litigation 32

95 Message To Folks Who Fervently Believe In The Need For Carbon Emission Reductions As Hazard Mitigation Until we reverse the Changes in Climate we need to adapt to climate changes and sea level rise (very long lags!) Safe & Sustainable Development or NAI can help us with this adaptation implementation Economic pressures and externalization of costs/benefits often drive development into dangerous and harmful areas Banning construction in areas which may be subject to climate change and sea level rise in the future has legal & economic issues; safe construction to higher standards is less likely to be successfully challenged 33

96 A Possible Message For Someone Who Cares About Her Community s Economy First please consider how devastating a Natural Event such as a wildfire, Hurricane, wildfire, earthquake, cascading disaster like flood following wildfire can and unfortunately will be to your community Secondly, consider the growing vulnerability of our society, the economy, the people; the reality that we are not now preparing properly for historic levels of disaster, to say nothing of dealing with the uncertainties of future projections, climate variability, or climate change Then lets stop making things worse; and start the long difficult road to a safe sustainable future not by preventing development but by ensuring safe development

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