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Science Committee Passes Neugebauer Bill to Reduce Windstorm Damage
[February 28, 2014]

Science Committee Passes Neugebauer Bill to Reduce Windstorm Damage

(Targeted News Service Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) WASHINGTON, Feb. 28 -- Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas (19th CD), issued the following news release: Congressman Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) released the following statement after the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology voted to pass H.R. 1786, a bill he authored to coordinate federal research into windstorm damage prevention. Reauthorizing the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program (NWIRP) will help save lives and reduce property damages.

"NWIRP promotes valuable research that will help us build stronger, safer shelters that can withstand powerful storms," Neugebauer said. "And it makes more efficient use of our resources--we know that for every $1 we invest in resilience, we save $4 in disaster response." NWIRP is designed to promote critical research and help us better understand the mechanics of windstorms by coordinating the efforts of four agencies - NOAA, the National Science Foundation, FEMA, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

"I'm really pleased that we passed this bill, and I'm looking forward to bringing it to the full House for a vote," Neugebauer said. "I'm grateful to Chairman Smith and my colleagues for supporting this life-saving research." A number of groups wrote Neugebauer to praise the legislation and comment on how it will help communities become more resilient to storm damage: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE): ASCE is firmly convinced that a unified national program addressing efficient wind-resistant design and construction, early warning and detection, improved emergency response, and public education and awareness will result in a significant reduction in losses, both human and economic.

National Ready Mixed Concrete Association (NRMCA): While no one can predict what disasters may occur in the future--and they will happen--areas hit hardest in the past are likely be impacted again. From Hurricanes along the Gulf and East Coasts to Tornado Alley, the geography is predictable even while the timing is not. However, through continued research in atmospheric science and data collection, advancements in mitigation, such as building technology and techniques, and greater use of testing like those highlighted in H.R. 1786, residential and commercial buildings can and will be constructed to withstand all forms of natural disasters, especially those involving high wind events. The research the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program (NWIRP) conducts helps save lives and money, and fosters quick recovery of devastated communities.

Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS): We strongly believe that this is an important, cost-effective initiative to measurably reduce loss of life and property from windstorms. A coordinated, well-funded federal research program is needed to pull together meteorological information about specific hazards; to support wind engineering expertise that defines the connection between windstorm characteristics and loads imposed on buildings and structures; for structural engineering expertise that develops efficient systems to handle these loads and load effects in new buildings and to strengthen existing buildings; and to coordinate national efforts to promote mitigation.

Farmers Insurance: This legislation will support basic research to better understand windstorms, atmospheric science data collection, and the development of risk assessment tools and mitigation techniques. The program includes valuable research and development efforts by NOAA, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the National Science Foundation, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, all aimed at breaking the impractical and inefficient cycle of dealing with natural disasters after they happen. The improvement of building codes, voluntary standards, and construction practices for buildings and homes -- all of which NWIRP promotes -- will improve disaster resiliency in our communities.

TNS 30VitinMar-140301-4652857 30VitinMar (c) 2014 Targeted News Service

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