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April 17, 2008 - Stafford Act Coalition Letter - Robert Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act

AMERICAN CONGRESS ON SURVEYING AND MAPPING
AMERICAN PUBLIC WORKS ASSOCIATION
AMERICAN RED CROSS
AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CIVIL ENGINEERS
ASSOCIATION OF STATE FLOODPLAIN MANAGERS
COASTAL STATES ORGANIZATION
COUNCIL OF STATE GOVERNMENTS
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF EMERGENCY MANAGERS
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS
NATIONAL EMERGENCY MANGEMENT ASSOCIATION
NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIES
NATIONAL RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE ASSOCIATION
NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION

April 17, 2008

The Honorable Joseph Lieberman
Chairman
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Room 340 Senate Dirksen Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Susan Collins
Ranking Member
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Room 442 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Lieberman and Ranking Member Collins:

The undersigned organizations are members of the Stafford Act Coalition and are writing to ask for your support for reauthorization of the Predisaster Mitigation Program, as authorized by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act and the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 (DMA2K). The current program authorization expires on September 30, 2008. Even if funding is appropriated for the Predisaster Mitigation Program, the expiration requirement would sunset the program. We are writing to ask the Committee to introduce and pass legislative language reauthorizing the Predisaster Mitigation Program as authorized by the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act and the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000. The undersigned organizations and associations represent state and local officials, the nation's realtors, surveyors, conservation interests, and others with a stake in flood management and response, disaster mitigation and emergency response and recovery. 

We also call on the Committee to conduct oversight hearings to explore the lessons learned and the successes of the Predisaster Mitigation Program. Since the program’s inception in 2002, there have been no Congressional changes made to the program and Congress should consider how the program is working
as they consider reauthorization. The Coalition would be pleased to serve as a resource to assist with such hearings.

The Predisaster Mitigation Program is a valuable tool that allows all states to take advantage of the opportunity to mitigate loss to life and property before a disaster occurs. In 2005, the Multi-Hazard Mitigation Council published a study that found that for every $1 FEMA invested into mitigation projects, society saves approximately $4. The key to the value of the programs is that predisaster mitigation is coordinated through the Governors and the state hazard mitigation plan as required by DMA2K.

Sincerely,

The Stafford Act Coalition

AMERICAN CONGRESS ON SURVEYING AND MAPPING
Laurence Socci                     (202) 262-5843

AMERICAN PUBLIC WORKS ASSOCIATION
Larry Zensinger                     (703) 849-0139

AMERICAN RED CROSS
Larry Decker                         (202) 303-4394

AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CIVIL ENGINEERS
Martin Hight                          (202) 789-7850

ASSOCIATION OF STATE FLOODPLAIN MANAGERS
Merrie Inderfurth                   (703) 448-0245

COASTAL STATES ORGANIZATION
Kristen Fletcher                      (202) 508-3860

COUNCIL OF STATE GOVERNMENTS
Jim Brown                              (202) 624-5460

INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF EMERGENCY MANAGERS
Martha Braddock                     (703) 644-7082

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTIES
Dalen Harris                           (202) 942-4236

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS
Russell Riggs                         (202) 383-1259

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS
Amy Linehan                         (202) 624-8177

NATIONAL EMERGENCY MANGEMENT ASSOCIATION
Kristin Robinson                    (202) 624-5459

NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIES
Leslie Wollack                        (202) 626-3000

NATIONAL RURAL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE ASSOCIATION
Laura Schepis                        (703) 907-5500

NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION
David Conrad                          (202) 797-6697