WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) today penned a letter to the editor in The Advocate explaining the need for Congress to establish a Natural Disaster Safety Board (NDSB) to strengthen our response and recovery efforts to natural disasters.
“This bipartisan legislation makes sure that lessons learned benefit Louisiana and every other state hit by natural disasters. We should not be reinventing the wheel every time there is a natural disaster. We need to be listening to local leaders and their expertise to build on that which we know already works. This is how we recover faster and better,” wrote Dr. Cassidy.
Earlier this month, Senators Cassidy and Brian Schatz (D-HI) reintroduced this legislation to create a new independent board to investigate major natural disasters, make policy recommendations, and help save lives.
Click here or read below for the full letter.
Bill Cassidy: Let’s look hard at what works, and what doesn’t work, when disaster strikes
In 2020, the U.S. experienced 22 major natural disasters. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates the damages to cost as much as $96.4 billion. Nine of these disasters hit Louisiana. They wreaked havoc in communities like Lake Charles and impacted much of our state.
To prevent such severe damage, we must implement lessons learned from past events.
That’s why I’ve introduced the Disaster Learning and Life Saving Act with U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, to create a Natural Disaster Safety Board to investigate major natural disasters. This new, independent board will help officials strengthen both our response and recovery efforts.
Natural disasters are not new to Louisiana. We’ve developed flood mitigation strategies here in our state that are a model for the rest of the world. In recent meetings with leaders in Lake Charles and Cameron Parish, they told me about the bureaucratic hurdles getting in the way of southwest Louisiana’s recovery. They also brought forward solutions we can implement to overcome them.
Creating the NDSB ensures this happens and specifically puts an emphasis on helping protect disproportionally impacted communities like Lake Charles. The board will be comprised of leading independent emergency management, public health, engineering, social and behavioral sciences professionals. Reviews and recommendations from this group offer a clear path forward to build more resilient communities.
This bipartisan legislation makes sure that lessons learned benefit Louisiana and every other state hit by natural disasters. We should not be reinventing the wheel every time there is a natural disaster. We need to be listening to local leaders and their expertise to build on that which we know already works. This is how we recover faster and better.