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Graves Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Better Protect Louisiana Against Natural Disasters and Improve our Resiliency

October 9, 2020
Press Release
Legislation comes as Louisiana faces a sixth named storm, Hurricane Delta, this hurricane season

BATON ROUGE, LA – U.S. Congressman Garret Graves (South Louisiana) introduced bipartisan legislation today that will better protect Louisiana by standardizing research on natural disasters. The Disaster Learning and Life Saving Act, cosponsored with Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA), would establish an independent board to review underlying causes of natural disasters and make recommendations to all levels of government on how to keep Americans safe. Graves has long advocated for the need to be proactive and invest in resiliency projects before storms, rather than after the fact, to prevent the loss of life and property.

"The National Transportation Safety Board has saved countless lives by carefully examining the causes of transportation accidents and identifying life-saving safety improvements to airplanes, trains, pipelines, and vessels. There is no question that we continue to repeat the same two mistakes when it comes to natural disasters — preparation and response.  As a result, thousands of American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars have needlessly been lost, " Graves said. "The National Disaster Safety Board will examine the causes of disasters and help to build upon some of our recent solutions to improve America’s preparedness and resilience. Based upon our recent disasters in Louisiana, I can give you one solution already — export the Cajun Navy to the other 49 states."

“As California experiences yet another devastating wildfire season, it’s clear that we must do more to guard against natural disasters,” Porter said. “Orange County families have seen an uptick in the number and severity of natural disasters, so we know how important it is to have comprehensive research to make science-based policy. I’m proud to partner with Representative Graves, Senator Schatz, and Senator Cassidy to simplify the process for how this critical research is conducted and presented.”

Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senators Brian Schatz (HI) and Bill Cassidy (LA).

"With climate change causing more frequent and severe natural disasters, we need more data to make sure our communities are resilient and prepared to respond to the next crisis," Schatz said. "Our bill creates a new independent board to investigate major natural disasters and gives policymakers and the public a full accounting of what happened and what should happen next."

“Americans across the country from the Gulf Coast to California are dealing with the results of natural disasters. Another hurricane is zeroing in on Louisiana right now,” Cassidy said. “By establishing a natural disaster safety board, lessons learned from past disasters save lives and perhaps even prevent future disasters.”

More about the legislation:

The legislation would establish a National Disaster Safety Board (NDSB) modeled after the National Transportation Safety Board. The NDSB would be an independent, non-partisan agency, responsible for studying preparedness and emergency response during natural disasters. It would break down the silos between federal, state, and local government, and private industry to develop better and more complete lessons learned and improve planning for future emergencies. The legislation is endorsed by Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, American Society of Civil Engineers, Enterprise Community Partners, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Institute for Diversity and Inclusion in Emergency Management, the National Low Income Housing Coalition, and the Association of State Floodplain Managers.