Bill aimed at reducing hurricane damage passes Senate
October 6, 2004
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Legislation proposed by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., aimed at substantially reducing the loss of life and property from the devastating effects of hurricanes passed the Senate today.
Modeled after a successful government initiative created to lessen damages caused by earthquakes, the legislation creates a three-year federal program aimed at developing hurricane-resistant construction methods to help reduce the loss of life and property resulting from such storms.
"When four major storms hit Florida this summer, I saw firsthand how changes in building codes after Hurricane Andrew helped reduce property damage and may have even saved lives," said Nelson. "We need to use data from these most recent hurricanes to continue improving building standards and protecting communities from windstorm losses."
The legislation requires four federal agencies to work together on wind-damage research. They are the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The cost of the program would come out of money designated for the agencies' budgets.
Nelson's windstorm impact reduction measure was added to legislation that continues the existing federal program aimed at reducing damage caused by earthquakes. The measure now goes to the House of Representatives where passage is expected this week.
Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne are responsible for more than 70 deaths and estimated to cost consumers and businesses more than $20 billion in insurance losses.