It’s been eight months (October 5, 2018) since President Trump signed the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018 (DRRA) which was put into law as part of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018. These reforms acknowledge the shared responsibility for disaster response and recovery; aim to reduce the complexity of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); and build the nation’s capacity for the next catastrophic event. The law contains approximately 50 provisions that require FEMA policy or regulation changes for full implementation, as they amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.
Among those provisions is Section 1234: National Public Infrastructure Pre-Disaster Hazard Mitigation. It authorizes the National Public Infrastructure Pre-Disaster Mitigation fund, which will be funded through the Disaster Relief Fund as a six percent set aside from estimated disaster grant expenditures. This allows for a greater investment in mitigation before a disaster. This new program is named Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC).
FEMA envisions that the BRIC program, once established, will focus on traditional mitigation projects and incentivize new, innovative large infrastructure projects that build resilient communities and reduces risks from all hazards.
As such, the Agency is actively working to educate people on the different topic areas that are important for the development and implementation of the BRIC program. This month alone (June 2019), FEMA has held three webinars on the topic, with the fourth and final one of the series, Building Codes and Enforcement and Capacity and Capability, scheduled for Tuesday, June 25, 2-4 PM Eastern. Everyone is encouraged to join in and get involved in the conversation (via chat) about how building codes are the cornerstone of a resilient community.
Interested in learning more about BRIC but can’t make this week’s webinar? Don’t worry. There’s plenty of opportunity for you to share your opinion through FEMA’s topic forum on IdeaScale. You can also provide constructive comments by emailing email@example.com. The comment period is open through July 15, 2019.